Agenda and minutes

Employment and Skills Panel
Thursday, 29th November, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room A, Wellington House, 40-50 Wellington Street, Leeds

No. Item


Apologies for absence


In the absence of Rashik Parmar, Councillor Carol Runciman chaired the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Rashik Parmar, Simon Barratt, Tom Keeney, Amanda Stainton, Professor Margaret House, Sue Soroczan and Mike Curtis.


Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests


There were no pecuniary interests declared by members at the meeting.


Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of The Press and Public


There were no items on the agenda requiring exclusion of the press and public.


Minutes of the meeting of the Employment and Skills Panel held on 11 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 116 KB


Resolved: That the minutes of the Employment and Skills Panel held on 11September 2018 be approved and signed by the Chair.


Chair's update

A verbal update will be given.


The Chair welcomed new members, Councillor Wakefield and Councillor Mather and Ros Tolcher, who was attending as an advisory representative for the Yorkshire and Humber NHS instead of Mike Curtis. The Chair also noted it was Ian Billyard’s last meeting and thanked him for his contributions to the Panel. His replacement as Chair of the Leeds City Region Skills Network from January 2019 will be Nav Chohan, Principle of Shipley College.


Channel 4 Bid


The Chair gave an update on the bid to host the new National Headquarters for Channel 4 in the Region. Members were advised of the success of the bid and its impact in already attracting other business to the region. The news was warmly welcomed by the Panel.


LEP Review


The Chair updated the Panel on the recent outcome of the Government’s LEP review. The Leeds City Region LEP will combine with York, North Yorkshire & parts of the East Riding LEP to create a new larger LEP. The Panel welcomed the proposed wider geography of the LEP and the opportunities it would create.




The Chair gave an update on the recent workshops which brought together stakeholders to create six personas based on analysis of cohorts in the Leeds City Region. The group brought these six individuals to life, imagining their current circumstances and where they could be in five years. The next stage will be to identify the interventions needed to get them there.


The personas approach was used to explore the issue of ‘starter jobs’ at an ‘agile squad’ meeting, as to how to support individuals to take their first steps into work or into a new career. The ‘agile squad’ created three personas: a young person in school, struggling to get a Saturday job but keen to develop employability skills; an older worker displaced from manufacturing and unsure of options and a 40 year old who had worked in retail for a major employer since they were 18, seeing job cuts in the sector. Recommendations were made by the group that:


·         The training offer needed to be suitable for individuals who are in work including flexible models of delivery and funding for part-time learning.

·         Individuals need better access to accurate locally relevant information and face-to-face advice.

·         Engagement with businesses that may automate and restructure their workforce was important, in order that support can be provided for individuals affected.


Topic Insights: a) Careers and b) Policy Statement Metrics pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


a)     Careers


The purpose of topic insight sessions is to provide detailed input to ESP on a particular topic of interest in order to promote discussion and to identify practical steps that can be taken forward, including the development of a policy statement in that area. 


The main focus of the topic insight session was our future ambition for careers support in the City Region, including careers education, information, advice and guidance. 


A presentation was given to the panel, which provided a definition of careers, highlighted the importance of careers support to individuals and the economy, examined the current careers offer in the City Region and reflected on challenges posed by current arrangements.  This provided the basis for a panel discussion around the future priorities for action in the City Region and the messages the LEP and Combined Authority should be highlighting to government with regard to careers.


The panel discussion highlighted a number of key points:


·         The need for a clear vision for careers support in the City Region.

·         The importance for all pupils of meaningful encounters with employers – it’s not just about prolonged work experience opportunities.

·         The need for a mechanism to challenge schools and hold them accountable with regard to their careers remit – we need to avoid careers becoming a “bolt-on” role for schools as for many of them academic results are the over-riding priority.

·         The potential value of creating CPD networks for teachers who specialise in providing careers support.

·         The need to consider the potential of digitally-enabled conversations in the context of careers information and advice, in order to increase the numbers of people both giving and receiving advice.

·         The importance of prioritising the flow of information on the labour market to young people and others who are making career decisions and the need to raise the visibility of occupational roles not just among young people but among adults.

·         The problem of gender stereotyping of roles and the value of showcasing women who work in atypical occupations.

·         The key potential role for HE in providing careers support and the need to encourage them to contribute more in this space.

·         The importance of making the connection between careers support and the emerging local industrial strategy.

·         These points will be considered in the drafting of a policy statement on careers support that will be submitted to the next ESP meeting for consideration, as one element of the refreshed Skills Plan.




b)     Policy Statement Metrics


The Panel was invited to comment on the Policy Statement and to feedback on its development.


The Panel was updated on the draft metrics which had been included in the Policy Statements for Apprenticeships and High Level Skills.


The following comments and suggestions were made by Panel in relation the draft metrics:


·         To include an indicator relating to the proportion of apprenticeships converting into employment.

·         To include an indicator to show entry into apprenticeships by SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) pupils.

·         To aim to increase the 14% apprenticeship levy take up.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Skills Commission pdf icon PDF 121 KB


The Panel was updated on the launch of a review of the education and skills system.


Councillor Hinchcliffe informed the Panel that she would chair a commission to carry out a radical review of the Post-16 vocational skills system. The commission will launch in January 2019 and is currently recruiting members. It will run for 12 months and culminate in a high profile conference.


The Panel discussed the breadth of membership and commented that the  Health and Construction sectors should be included.




(i)        That the update on the Post-16 Education and Skills system be noted.


(ii)       That future updates will be brought to the Panel.


Preparing for Brexit - Skills pdf icon PDF 138 KB


The Panel was updated on the skills implications of Brexit.


The Panel noted the update and commented that more attention should be given to the reliance on EU workers in the health sector, particularly in highly skilled occupations. Panel members also commented that a high proportion of EU migrant workers in the construction sector in London could have a knock-on effect on the sector in the City Region by drawing labour to the capital.


The Panel welcomed the skills services being offered to individuals and businesses and emphasised the importance of these services being presented in an accessible way.


Resolved: That the update be noted and the Panels comments actioned.


Digital Framework and Digital Skills pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel was updated on the development of the Leeds City Region Digital Framework and Digital Skills programmes.


The recent consultation was discussed, with feedback having now been incorporated into the revised framework. Of the five outcomes, two will be owned by the Employment and Skills Panel, ‘Digital opportunities for all businesses’ and ‘Digital skills and inclusion for all’.




(i)     That the planned digital skills programmes are noted and that the Panel’s feedback actioned.


(ii)    That adoption of the Digital Framework be endorsed.


Progress Reports on the Delivery of Services pdf icon PDF 152 KB


The Panel considered a report to update on the progress of delivery of Leeds City Enterprise Partnership (LEP)- led employment and skills programmes in the Leeds City Region.


The Panel was updated on the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) which went live 1 August 2018. It was noted that applications had been slow to date in contrast with the popularity of previous AGE schemes run by the LEP. This may be due to changes to the eligibility for AGE grants (sector focus, businesses new to apprenticeships and paying the minimum wage) or due to the learning for most apprenticeships starting in mid-September/ October.


Further information regarding options as to the continuation of the AGE will be circulated to members and a report brought to the next Panel on 28 February 2019.




(i)        That the contents of the report on LEP-led employment and skills programmes be noted.


(ii)       That the AGE scheme is reviewed and feedback collated prior to the next Panel for decision and recommendations to LEP to be made.


Date of next meeting


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 28 February 2019 at 2pm in Committee Room A, Wellington House, Leeds