Agenda and minutes

SCR - Skills & Employment Board - Tuesday, 27th August, 2019 1.00 pm

Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Apologies were noted as above.


Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda

Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda.




Urgent items / Announcements




Public Questions of Key Decisions




Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Additional documents:


The Board noted that their request for the development of a ‘self-assessment’ styled series of questions to assist in the review of the Board was being progressed by the Governance team and would be available towards the end of the year.


The glossary of terms that members had requested was at Appendix 1 to the report and further details on the groups and networks operating in the SCR was at Appendix 2.


Members requested that other groups such as the Barnsley Economic Partnership and Sheffield Business together be included in the list and stressed the importance of employers being involved from the beginning.


As requested, greater detail on the performance of schools and colleges in the Sheffield City Region against the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Practice was also provided.


With regard to the Local Growth Fund proposal for Sheffield UTC, officers confirmed that there would be a clear separation of students (14-19 and adults) and that the inclusion of adults did not affect the value for money calculation.


Minutes of the meeting held on 6th August 2019 pdf icon PDF 228 KB


The Chair requested strengthening the wording around the importance of employer involvement in the Advisory Group for Skills and Employment.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting of the Sills and Employment Board held on 6 August 2019 be agreed as a correct record.


Skills & Employment Overview pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Additional documents:


The Board were informed that the City Region was developing a new Economic Strategy for the region


The Strategic Economic Plan would be a single overarching strategy which would set out the wider socio-economic aspirations and inclusive priorities for SCR over the medium to long term.


There would also be a Local Industrial Strategy which would align with the National Industrial Strategy and be agreed with Government.


Members noted that work on the evidence base was reaching completion.


Lyndsey Whitaker gave a presentation to the Board which provided:


·         An overview of the available evidence base in relation to skills and employment.

·         Current challenges.

·         The potential focus for future priorities.

·         Programmes currently being delivered.


The Board was informed that the SCR had seen significant economic growth in recent years but noted that it had been more significant in some areas and not in others.


There had also been employment and some productivity growth but this had largely been in low pay and low productivity sectors and not at the scale that could drive transformational economic growth.


Weekly pay was behind the national average; 33% of workers were employed in low pay sectors.


The Board discussed the evidence around unemployment, health, economic inactivity, children in workless households, the labour market and employment by gender, ethnicity and disability.


The Board stressed the importance of in-depth data to ensure that bespoke programmes could be put in place in the correct areas to ensure that the skills and employment agenda could be delivered.


Action: SCR Policy and Assurance Team to provide data on skills and employment challenges and opportunities within each local authority area.


The Board then went on to discuss skills supply and demand.


It was noted that the key stage 4 GCSE attainment was below average and the Board questioned whether they were in a position to influence schools to maybe look at different models and to concentrate on STEAM subjects.


The evidence had shown that 60% of FE colleges had been graded as ‘requires improvement’ by inspectors.  Members commented that Barnsley College was rated as outstanding and felt that other colleges should be able to learn from this.


The importance of good quality school-leaver and degree level entry apprenticeships was also acknowledged.


Members also noted SCR’s current activities including:


  • Skills Bank
  • Skills Capital
  • Enterprise Advisor Network
  • Health Led Employment Trial; and
  • European Social Fund


Members commented that specific areas need to be targeted and it was vital that they had in-depth evidence to identify these targets.


It was also important that training providers provided courses that were useful and that would provide people with skills that employers needed.


The Board also acknowledged the importance of tying their work with that of the Business Growth Board and the Transport Board.


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.



Performance Dashboard pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:


Sue Sykes presented a paper which provided the Board with up to date performance information on all skills and employment programmes delivered by the SCR Executive on behalf of the LEP and MCA.


Attached were performance dashboards for the programmes for members to review.  These were:


  • Local Growth Fund
  • Working Win – the Health Led Employment Trial
  • Skills Bank; and
  • The Enterprise Advisor Network


With regard to the Local Growth Fund, the programme was on target to deliver the headline outputs and outcomes. Across the one completed project and seven projects that were currently in the delivery phase, six projects were performing to target.  Where targets were behind profile, enhanced monitoring would be implemented, and appropriate remedial action agreed.


The Working Win - Health led Employment Trial was delivering an intensive employment support programme in health settings.  It was available to anyone whether they were in work or not as long as they were registered with a GP in South Yorkshire or Bassetlaw.  The trial was currently below profile for people engaged in the service being tested, however numbers moving into or retaining work were exceeding the expected profile.  Cllr Lelliott suggested the project needed a higher public profile as she was unaware of it despite all the Council work she carried out.


The Skills Bank was a deal between the Government and the LEP aimed at delivering a new approach to workforce training, delivering co-investment deals based upon a desired rate of return.  Due to delays in the procurement of the provider Skills Bank 2 commenced delivery 10 months into the financial year 2018-19.  The result was a reduced delivery timescale of 14 months to deliver 2 years’ worth of targets.  An action plan was being put in place to increase the volume of deals and learner starts, the SCR Executive was working with the provider to boost referrals and conversion to training.


The Enterprise Advisor Network commissioned by the SCR Executive on behalf of the LEP, with funding from the Careers Enterprise Company, focused on supporting schools and colleges in SCR to ensure all pupils get multiple opportunities to learn from employers and gain meaningful first-hand experiences of the world of work.  All contractible targets for the EAN from the Careers and Enterprise Company had been achieved.


Members commented that there was a need to look at the impact on specific strategies and priorities, the profile of the beneficiaries and if targets had been met.


Communications also needed to be looked into to see if all channels available were being utilised.


A Risk Register was suggested for high risk projects.


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.


Skills Bank Overview and Performance pdf icon PDF 306 KB

Additional documents:




ESF Overview pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Additional documents:




Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 356 KB


Members noted that the Forward Plan would be adjusted to reflect the deferred items from today’s meeting.


Any Other Business