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Part 3 - Skills to meet demand

Skills to meet demand

We want to develop skills innovation and inclusion by working with business leaders, education, skills support and Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) institutions to support the concept of an Ashfield ‘total skills solution’.

Action Plan aim:

4. Ensure there are vocational routeways into Ashfield’s high profile sectors

What we already have and do

  • Ashfield’s Construction Training Centre (Vision West Notts College, Sutton Academy, Inspire and Portland College’s partnership project) works with developers to provide employer-led skills to residents. Promoting local construction opportunities and helping residents to access them.
  • Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) offers construction specific courses e.g: Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) to allow local people to have the skills to progress into the construction industry.
  • Automated Distribution & Manufacturing centre (ADMC) will equip employees in these sectors with the skills required to work with automation and new technologies
  • One-to-One Support services specialise in delivering courses within the Healthcare sector. They can offer up-skilling provision within care organisations and deliver courses & apprenticeships for unemployed residents wanting to progress into the Healthcare sector.
  • “Think Ahead” programme is a national pathway for post-graduate Mental Health Social Work. Training run by the Think Ahead charity.
  • Ashfield’s Civil Engineering Centre (Vision West Notts College) equips residents wanting to progress into engineering with the skills required to have successful and sustainable careers in that sector. This will play an important role in developing the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project.
  • “Career Changes into Teaching” offer a series of programmes aimed at recruiting experienced business leaders and talented PhD graduates into teaching. National contract split between three national contracts: Now Teach, Transition to Teach, Researchers in Schools.
  • High Potential Initial Teacher Training and Leadership Development “Teach First” Programme consists of participants working as unqualified teachers in year 1 while undertaking training leading to qualified teacher status (QTS) and then as newly qualified teachers in the second year.
  • Trackwork deliver Personal Track Safety (PTS) training – this will be imperative to support railway projects such as High Speed 2 (HS2).
  • Chartered Institute of the Management of Sport and Physical Activity offer skills programmes to support residents in progressing into the leisure sector.
  • Platinum Training Centre offer courses to help residents progress into the Hair and Beauty sector.
  • Local universities offer degrees to progress residents into higher level positions within our high-profile sectors eg: Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Surgeons and Quantity Surveyors.
  • Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2) offer sector focused “Skills Boot camps” which are free, flexible courses of just 12 to 16 weeks, give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. HGV/LGV Drivers Bootcamp will be available for unemployed and employed residents from January 2022. These boot camps are piloted across 6 areas with national contracts roll-out in May 2021

What we need to do

Ensure the providers that deliver high profile sector skills provision are working together to create a high-profile sector “vocational routeway” for local residents.

4.1 Ensure that Ashfield’s Construction Training Centre are linked up with partners that focus on delivering construction sector skills provision (eg: CITB). Ensure there is a vocational route for residents wanting to progress within the Construction sector. Capture good news stories from the Construction Training Centre.

4.2 Ensure that Ashfield’s Civil Engineering Centre are linked up with partners that focus on delivering civil engineering sector skills provision (eg: Trackwork). Ensure there is a vocational route for residents wanting to progress within the civil engineering sector. Capture good news stories from the Civil Engineering Centre.

4.3 Explore the vocational route for the residents wanting to progress within the Healthcare sector, through partners that focus on delivering Healthcare sector skills provision (eg: One-to-One Support Services, Care4Notts and Think Ahead)

4.4 Ensure that the Automated Distribution & Manufacturing Centre (ADMC) is linked up with provision that focuses on skills development within the manufacturing and distribution sectors. Ensure there is a vocational route for residents wanting to progress within these sectors.

4.5 Explore the vocational route for the residents wanting to progress within the Transport and Logistics sectors, through partners that focus on delivering Transport and Logistics sector skills provision (eg: HGV/LGV Bootcamps & Peter Smythe Transport Training)

4.6 Discover Ashfield to ensure the “Career Changes into Teaching” and “Teach First” programmes are embedded into Ashfield’s schools.

4.7 Ensure local Universities are connecting their education sector graduates to the educational organisations within the Ashfield district.

Action plan aim:

5. Ensure that Young People are given the “soft skills” needed to enter the world of work

Soft skills include: communication, Teamwork, problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, decision making and adaptability.

What we already have and do

  • Princes Trust Team Programme in Nottinghamshire offer confidence building activities to young people in the community. This gives them the opportunity to socialise and adopt the right behaviours when progressing into employment
  • National Citizens Service gives young people the opportunity to conduct activities in the community, and adopt correct behaviours and skills that are ready for when they enter the workplace.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions “Mentoring Circle” initiative supports young people build on their employability skills, confidence, motivation and job search skills through facilitating interactions with employers and moving closer to employment by raising their aspirations and fostering a can-do approach.
  • Ashfield Ambassadors are available to deliver sessions into schools, colleges & Universities. This can be on the importance of having the correct soft skills.
  • Enterprise Adviser Network (lead by Futures in Nottinghamshire) are business representatives that work with local secondary schools to help them shape their curriculum based on the needs of local businesses. This will include the importance of implementing soft skills in the workplace.
  • Adult Education Training Providers offers an array of employability provision for young people that are NEET (not in employment, education or training), which will include the adoption of soft skills in the workplace

What we need to do

Continue to explore community-based provision for young people to adopt correct behaviours and develop core skills needed to progress into employment:

5.1: Develop space in Ashfield that can be used as an Employment Hub that young people can access. Ensure educational organisations are delivering employability provision from the Hub, for young people to develop their soft skills.

5.2: Encourage businesses to engage with the Employment Hub and deliver talks from the Hub, including on the importance of developing their soft skills.

5.3: Ensure the Department for Work and Pensions are referring their young people claimants to the Employment Hub.

5.4: Discover Ashfield to work with both the Primary Schools Partnership and the Secondary Schools Network, to ensure they are embedding student soft skills into their curriculum; including the engagement with external community projects (eg: National Citizens Service and the Prince’s Trust Team Programme)

5.5: Discover Ashfield to ensure their Ambassadors are presenting the importance of soft skills to students in secondary schools and local colleges.

5.6: To work closely with Vision West Notts College and Universities (with Ashfield students) to ensure they are embedding correct student attitudes/behaviours, ready for when they enter the workforce.

5.7: Health and Well being Partnership to lead on supporting social enterprises to bid for community funded projects from partners such as the National Lottery, Nottinghamshire County Council, the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation, and The Key Fund. Ensure they are delivering social inclusion projects for young people in Ashfield. Promote with local schools, gather impact data of these projects and showcase.

5.8: Explore space availability in Ashfield’s deprived areas, in order to deliver Employment Hub outreach provision. Adult Skills Partnership to ensure they have the resource to support Young People in the harder to reach communities within the Ashfield district, including the development of their employability and soft skills.

5.9: Develop the DWP’s Mentoring Circle initiative which supports young people build on their employability skills, confidence, motivation and job search skills through facilitating interactions with employers and moving closer to employment by raising their aspirations and fostering a can-do approach.

5.10: Discover Ashfield to ensure local schools are involved in the development of the Towns Fund projects, eg: construction of the Automated Distribution & Manufacturing Centre (ADMC).

Action Plan aim:

6. Ensure that employers feel empowered and are engaging with the Education and Skills offer; including workforce development in digital upskilling

What we already have and do

  • Ashfield District Council has a “Support for established businesses” section on their website which includes "Employing People" and "Improving employees skills” web pages. Employers can see immediately what skills and employment provision is available in the local area.
  • D2N2 lead the “Skills Access Hub” brokerage service. This service is aimed at diagnosing the skills needs of resident and businesses, and then connecting with local skills and employment provision.
  • Ashfield’s “Adult Skills Strategic Partnership” allows businesses to join the meetings as guest speakers, in order to talk about their recruitment and skills challenges and make connections with local educational organisations.
  • Discover Ashfield's “Secondary Schools Network” allows businesses to join the meetings as guest speakers in order to talk about their recruitment and skills challenges, and make connections with local secondary schools.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council have a free “Skills Portal available on their website. This has been created to make it easier for employers to see what skills provision is available.
  • “Enterprising Ashfield” is a project that will be delivered from the business hub based in Sutton. Nottingham Trent University deliver the “Support for Growth” programme, enabling small to medium-sized enterprises to increase growth potential, improve productivity and create job opportunities by innovating products, processes and services, and accessing new markets.
  • “Enterprising Ashfield” will also offer a skills programme for businesses. With a strong focus on digital skills, Nottingham Trent University will work with businesses to identify skills need - individuals will develop their skills through a range of training and upskilling opportunities and businesses can realise improvements in their innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.

There is a wealth of existing business employment and skills support, facilitated by various local partners; a selection is below:

  • Ashfield District Council has business support social media groups, where business support schemes are posted. Members can also network and share successes. LinkedIn and Facebook “Succeed in Ashfield” groups.
  • Ashfield businesses can access the Business Support section on Ashfield District Council's website. This contains lots of free support schemes that are available, including recruitment and skills provision.
  • Ashfield District Council, D2N2 Growth Hub, and East Midlands Chamber offer grant funding and a business support service, including the delivery of free webinars.
  • Business member organisations are available, e.g.: Mansfield & Ashfield 2020, Nottinghamshire Manufacturing Network, Make UK, Medi-Link, Federation for Small Businesses, and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.
  • Fully funded upskilling courses for businesses from partners such as The Skills Network, Serco, Futures, Inspire, Academy Transformation Trust Further Education, and FutureLearn.

What we need to do

To ensure each of Ashfield’s employment sectors are linked up with the sector skills training offer:

6.1: Ensure manufacturing businesses are linked up with manufacturing skills offer, including the development of the Automated Distribution and Manufacturing Centre.

6.2: Ensure distribution, transport and logistics businesses are connected with the skills provision offer in these sectors; including the development of the Automated Distribution and Manufacturing Centre.

6.3: Ensure local schools and colleges are connected with the Universities that have education sector graduates.

6.4: Ensure the Healthcare sector (such as NHS) are linked up with skills provision in Health & Social Care, such as One-to-One support Services, Care4Notts and Adult Education Budget providers.

6.5: Ensure construction businesses are linked up with construction skills offer such as the Construction Skills Training Centre and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

6.6: Ensure engineering businesses are linked up with engineering skills offer such as the Civil Engineering Training Centre and Trackwork.

Ensure there is full awareness from businesses of digital upskilling Continuous Professional Development provision in Ashfield:

6.7: Engage with Adult Education Budget providers and Library Innovation Centres to ensure Ashfield businesses are engaging their workforce into the free basic and IT Level 1 courses.

6.8: Engage with DBC training to ensure Ashfield businesses are engaging their workforce into the free iProgramme 2.1 provision.

6.9: Engage with our Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2) to ensure Ashfield businesses are accessing the “Digital Skills Bootcamps”.

6.10: Engage with Vision West Notts College to see how many Ashfield businesses have enrolled their workforce onto new Automation and Robotics courses at the Engineering Innovation Centre.

6.11: Obtain impact data from the Enterprising Ashfield “Digital Academy” programme and showcase.

Key skills actions to help businesses overcome recruitment and skills challenges within the district:

6.12: Explore how employers could get involved with local fairs and events, including businesses sponsoring these local fairs and events.

Action completed: 29th July 2022

6.13: Ensure there is enough fully funded “Digital Marketing” provision available for employers.

6.14: Consider what could be done to gain social value from supply chain / procurement. Ensure social value is embedded into the new ADC administered projects, eg: from the Towns Fund investment.

6.15: Explore how employers can have more involvement with colleges and Universities.

6.16: Develop the membership of local employers into Ashfield District Council’s “Succeed in Ashfield” social media platforms & local business networking events.

6.17: Work with partners to make languages provision available for Small to Medium-sized Enterprises as well as unemployed adults. Virtual delivery allows businesses to work with international partners.

6.18: Work with partners to help more businesses create and develop a website and/or e-commerce platform. Opportunity to “level up” in the digital age and access new markets. Through grant funding/training programmes.

6.19: Work with partners to develop capital funding to support businesses in the purchasing of automation & robotics, post engagement with Automation and Robotics courses from the Engineering Innovation Centre.

Capturing skills needs of local businesses through surveys

6.20: Towards the end of the 2023, Ashfield District Council to send out skills needs survey to all Small-Medium Enterprises. Questions concerning their future workforce development & recruitment priorities. This will determine the activities within the 2024-2025 action plan (year 3-4 of the plan)

6.21 Towards end of 2023, Ashfield District Council to facilitate a business workshop to capture their future workforce development & recruitment priorities. This will determine the activities within the 2024-2025 action plan (year 3-4 of the plan)

Capturing business case studies from successful activities within the plan:

6.22: During 2022-2023, capture case studies from businesses that have positively impacted from the activities within the action plan. Add to the Education and Skills Improvement Plan and showcase.

Action Plan aim:

7. Ensure that functional skills (English and Mathematics) provision is embedded into the learning of Ashfield’s residents, across all stages of education.

What we already have and do

  • Literacy and Numeracy already forms part of the standard curriculum in Primary and Secondary schools.
  • Adult Education Budget providers offer fully funded Functional Skills courses to employed and unemployed individuals.
  • “Multiply” programme will be available from Spring 2022. Adults who don’t already have a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in Maths will be able to access free courses that fit around their lives – whether that be in person or online, at work or in the evening, part time or intensive – with additional support to meet their needs.

What we need to do

Ensure that “Outstanding” Functional Skills provision (English and Maths) is embedded across all stages of education within the Ashfield district:

7.1: Discover Ashfield to work with the Primary School Partnership to support the literacy and numeracy attainment percentage for students.

7.2: Discover Ashfield to work with the Secondary School’s Network to support the literacy and numeracy attainment percentage for students.

7.3: Adult Skills Strategic Partnership to ensure their customers with no qualifications are enrolling onto English and Maths courses.

7.4: Department for Work and Pensions to refer claimants with no qualifications to Adult Education budget providers in order to deliver Functional Skills – English and Maths courses.

7.5: Partners to explore the “Multiply” programme and ensure residents are accessing this programme in order to improve their skills in mathematics.