Skills Group minutes, 14 January 2014

Monday 3rd of February 2014 12:00 AM


Thursday  23rd January 2014 10.00 – 12.00


ATTENDEES; Marion Plant (NWHC); Roger Dowthwaite (C&W LEP); Richard Hutchins (WMG); Sally Lucas (CWT); Rebecca Young ( Coventry City Council); Adam Dent (Advent Communications); Rachael Stewart (C&W LEP);John Hogg (City College); Steve Stewart (CSWP); Martin Buxcey (JCP); Helen Hunt (Warwickshire County Council); Dave Hill (Warwickshire County Council); Kim Mawby (Coventry City Council); Roy Scott (MGTS)

APOLOGIES: Rita Davey (SEMTA);Becki Coombe(FSB/Learn 2); Ian Dunn (Coventry University); Martin Bolt (JCP).





 1.  Welcome and Introductions

Marion welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.  The agenda was then rearranged to take the work plan element of the Skills Strategy before the main business as other partners were present to contribute.

2. Unemployment and NEETs

Rebecca introduced the agenda item referring the meeting to a paper previously circulated which put the agenda item into context.  This was followed by two presentations – attached – the first by Martin Buxcey from JCP and the second by Steve Stewart from CSWP.

Key headlines from the JCP presentation were that the figure of people claiming Jobseeker’s allowance in Coventry and Warwickshire has fallen to its lowest level since 2008, youth unemployment (JSA claimants aged 18-24) has nearly halved over the last 4 years. 

Key headlines from the CSWP presentation were that the NEETs figures (16-18) were expected to rise again in Coventry and Warwickshire in 2014 but only because the more effective tracking of young people previously recorded as unknown has now identified some of the unknowns as NEETs.  Information was also provided by ward which confirmed that there are pockets of the city and the county that still need more provision.

A discussion took place on both presentations, with everyone agreeing that it was extremely useful to see the data in this format as it presents a good picture of what is happening across the sub-region.

Martin was asked about his slide of the top 10 sectors that people aspired to work in and who/what age range were aspiring to work in these sectors, do we know what qualifications/experience they have?  Is the information available by district?  Martin undertook to see if this information was available. MB                                                                                                                                                                                        

Steve reported that overall the 16 year old NEETs figures were ok, 17 year olds needed more work although the debate is really about behaviour and boredom but that the real work to be done is around 18 year olds as information sharing when young people become 18 is difficult due to two Government departments having different policies.  Marion commented on the future for FE which will see a reduction in EFA funding for third year learners being cut by 17.5%, thus affecting those learners for whom 3 years is essential to gain a Level 2 and, in many cases, a Level 1.  It was agreed that the LEP should be a body to lobby against this.

Adam Dent commented that the data was helpful for headline figures for PR purposes for good news stories which he could consider when the slides were sent out.                         AD   Adam also outlined some work being undertaken by Peter Deeley in the city on the recruitment of apprentices.                                                                                                                        

Rachael commented that much of what has been discussed is contained within the work plan of the Skills Strategy and the Strategic Economic Plan plus the EU Structural Funds Strategy.


3. Minutes of the previous meeting

These were agreed as a true and accurate record.

4. Matters arising

Skills Strategy now updated and finalised, Executive Summary finalised and is on website with link to full Strategy, Executive Summary final version being printed – NB – now received into office and will be distributed.

Thematic work plan now simplified, prioritised with dates, actions, deadlines and reporting for the year.  Sent to work plan leads and will be circulated around shortly. Also the main reporting structure to report on the Skills Business Group to the LEP Board has been amended, agreed and will be circulated. 

Skills Business Group to be known as Skills and Employment Group.

Membership of the Group has been extended to include a representative from schools, Mark Bailie Head of Finham Park School Coventry will represent Coventry and Warwickshire Schools, Marion has formally written and Rachael will brief him.                                       RS

Apprenticeship data – Rachael and Torin Spence from WCC had had a useful meeting with Nigel Berkeley from Coventry University on the SFA data and Torin is analysing this to support Sally and the ATP on data for the Apprenticeship Strategy.                                  TS

Richard asked about capital, an outline for Expressions of Interest for is being produced and it was agreed that a small task group would look at criteria for assessment made up of Roger, Rachael, Marion, Richard and Sally.                                                                        RS                            

5. Employer Boards

John reported that City College had shared operational plans with the LEP and introduced the concept of Employer Boards for curriculum areas, embryonic at this stage but would be something the FE Principals would start to discuss collectively in the near future. These could be assisted by the Business Groups that operate across the LEP

6. HVM/Skills Business Group Work with Schools

Rachael reported on a piece of work being undertaken jointly with the HVM group aimed at Heads, Governors and Careers leads in schools and employers, in the first instance JLR, with the intention of focussing on STEM, event provisionally scheduled for 12th May with a view to do more potentially with MIRA and MTC.


Roger began with an update on City Deal – 5th February expected to be signed off following a challenge session, leaving the way forward for the Clearing House located in Cheylesmore House (former SFA building).  Marion expressed concerns that FE were not engaged with discussions, Richard agreed to raise with the LEP Board.  The ESIF strategy has to be submitted by the end of January.  SEP feedback was taking place after the Skills Business Group meeting.                                                                                                                     RH

8. Date and Time of Next Meeting:

10.30 am – please note the change of time from 10.00 am at The Old Clink Warwick.

Work plan item, Information Advice and Guidance led by Steve Stewart

Actions arising from the meeting on 23rd January:

Further information on aspirations, age range, qualifications/experience – Martin

PR on good news – Adam

Brief Head of Finham Park School – Rachael

Apprenticeship data – Torin/Sally

Task group for capital – Rachael

FE representation for Clearing House discussions - Richard























































Category: Skills & Jobs