Agenda item

Session 4 - Inquiry Into Skills

(a)  Local Area Agreement

To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development (pages 5-6)


(b)  Skills Targets in the Leeds Strategic Plan

To receive and consider the attached joint report of the Assistant Chief Officer (Planning, Policy and Improvement) / Director of City Development (pages 7-16)


The Head of Scrutiny and Member Development,  and Assistant Chief Officer (Planning, Policy and Improvement) and Director of City Development submitted reports regarding the Board’s Inquiry into Skills.  The reports focussed on  following two areas:


a)  Local Area Agreement

b)  Skills Targets in the Leeds Strategic Plan


The Chair welcomed the following to the meeting:


  • Dylan Griffiths – Project Manager (Policy), Policy, Planning and Improvement
  • Paul Stephens – Chief Economic Services Officer, City Development
  • Teresa Brookes - Skills Development Manager, Environment & Neighbourhoods
  • MandyCrawford-Lee – Learning & Skills Council


In response to Members comments and questions, the following issues were discussed:


  • Responsibility for funding for under 19’s was transferring back to local authorities.
  • Government policy was employer and demand led.
  • Government initiatives that focussed on employees:
    • Train to Gain
    • Apprenticeships
    • Skills Pledge
  • Concern was raised regarding the meeting of targets that were set before the recent economic downturn.  It was reported that the view of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) was to maintain current targets and aspirations and that employers and providers should also retain the same focus.
  • Effects of the economic downturn on the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA).  The Council was due to be visited by CAA Assessors and it was felt that if it could be proved that everything had been done within reason and that aspirational targets had been set, that there would be no detrimental effect on the CAA results.
  • How to multi-skill the workforce in preparation for changes in employment opportunities.
  • How to address the training needs of the workless, particularly those who have been in long term unemployment.  This would involve working at a local level and would include various services and organisations including the local authority.  There was a need to promote awareness of training that was available to hard to reach groups.
  • There was a focus on school leavers obtaining at least level 2 qualifications and there had been a recent increase in these figures.  There was also an emphasis on getting employees qualified to level 2 and 3.
  • Work would be undertaken with the new college in an attempt to ensure that the curriculum would meet the occupational areas that would have future recruitment needs.
  • Responding to the economic downturn – Yorkshire Forward had taken a lead on this at a regional level and it involved working with all key partners including the Learning and Skills Council and Government Office for Yorkshire and Humber.  There was a recognition that there needed to be a better use of resources available for training.
  • How to achieve Level 2 and 3 targets within the Local Area Agreement – there was responsibility not just on employers and providers, but on individuals undertaking training.
  • How to make employers aware of their skills needs and training opportunities available.
  • It was reported that Leeds City Council had a census of qualifications within it’s own workforce that could be made available to the Board.
  • Members were asked to participate in a small working group to meet with Igen Leeds Careers Advisors.




(1)  That the reports be noted.

(2)  That Councillors Bentley, Driver and Pryke form a working group to meet IGEN Careers Advisers on 11 March 2009.


Supporting documents: