Highlights of Dorset LEP's work


Dorset LEP’s vision

Dorset LEP’s vision is for a high-skilled workforce, meeting the needs of Dorset’s growing economy and priority sectors. We want our working age population to become better skilled and more productive so that our future economic growth is driven by greater worker productivity rather than relying on growth in the workforce.

Dorset LEP is helping businesses to work closely with education and training providers to:

  • Ensure that residents have the right skills to fill the jobs that are available
  • Ensure that businesses identify the skills that they need
  • Support the growth of HE and FE, to provide the skills that businesses need
  • Ensure that residents can access training opportunities (physically or virtually)


Achieving world-beating productivity is one of the UK Government’s main economic priorities and involves:

  • A highly skilled workforce
  • Leading universities
  • High quality science and innovation
  • Increased pay
  • Increased workforce participation

Dorset currently has below average productivity and most parts of Dorset are less competitive that the national average. In general, earnings are below the national average. 

Demographic of Dorset

Dorset already has high levels of employment and a high economic activity rate, within the working age population. However, the area’s working age population (i.e. those aged 16 to 64), forms a smaller proportion of the population than the national average.

The overall population is projected to grow in the future, but with little growth in the working age population.

There will be future demand for workers to replace those who are leaving the workforce (e.g. through retirement), as well as workers to satisfy the growth needs.

Dorset has three Further Education institutions, Bournemouth & Poole College, Kingston Maurward College and Weymouth College and three Higher Education institutions, Arts University Bournemouth , Bournemouth University and AECC University College. 

Our work in this area includes:

Dorset LEP Skills Board

The Skills Board is a sub-group of Dorset LEP and is a private/ public partnership with membership drawn from public, private and voluntary sectors. The Board acts as a strategic body raising productivity and stimulating economic growth through Dorset’s human capital. More info

Dorset Enterprise Adviser Network

Dorset LEP is working with Career and Enterprise Company to develop a Dorset wide Enterprise Adviser Network. Its purpose is to create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses and the schools and colleges in their area. The network is intended to inspire and motivate young people and support them to make informed choices about their future. More info…

Delivery of ESF funding

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW)

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Dorset. More info...

Skills Escalator

The Skills Escalator, part of the Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, has been established to help cater for the current and future skills needs of a range of key employment sectors based at Bournemouth Airport and the surrounding area. More info...


Access projects & programmes

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