Agenda and minutes

Venue: Room 406 - Lancashire Adult College, Southport, Chorley PR7 1NB

Contact: Holly Tween  Tel: 01772 537955 Email:  holly.tween@lancashire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted that apologies had been received from Bev Robinson, Lindsay Campbell and Graham Haworth.

 

It was noted that Graham Haworth had made a valuable contribution to the work of the Committee outside the meetings, but had struggled to attend the Committee meetings. It was therefore proposed that Graham step down and an alternative private sector member be sought. To complement the make-up of the Committee, it was suggested that a member with a background in the digital sector should be appointed. The Committee were requested to discuss any suggestions with Michele or Amanda.

 

Resolved: that Graham Haworth step down as a director, and a replacement member be sought from the private sector with a digital background

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Amanda Melton and Steve Gray declared interest in item 13 as they represented organisations involved in the ESF work.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2017 are confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Regarding the unallocated £13.7m ESIF funding, it was noted that clarity on the policy position had been delayed due to purdah. The Skills Hub would pick this up again with the ESFA after the election.

 

It was noted that the government had received over 3000 formal responses to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper consultation, so a delay in the government response was expected.

 

All other matters arising were on the agenda.

5.

Skills & Employment Hub Update pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Minutes:

Michele Lawty-Jones presented the update report for the Lancashire Skills Hub and highlighted the following:

 

The Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network had grown to 63 schools and colleges but it was proving difficult to recruit Enterprise Advisers in Hyndburn. Any suggestions should be sent to Michele.

 

It was noted that Joanne Pickering and Mo Isap had been nominated as 'inspirational advisors', and that Mo Isap had been awarded the northwest regional award at the Careers and Enterprise Company Annual Conference and the Committee conveyed its congratulations. Learn Live, a Lancashire funded project, had also been commended for the use of digital media and engagement of schools in rural areas at the conference.

 

Four grant funding offers had been issued for the European Structural Investment Funds against investment priority 1.4 (active inclusion). Two stage 1 applications had been submitted to the DWP against the 2.2 Skills for Growth call. Appraisal had been delayed but this was being followed up.

 

It was anticipated that the Energy HQ, the Teaching Hub and the Food & Farming Innovation & Technology Centre (FFIT) would all launch in September. It was therefore agreed that the Committee meeting on 07 September be held in Myerscough College to coincide with the launch of the FFIT.

 

The 'Value of Experience' Conference was held on 25 April. Following this a task and finish group would be formed to take forward actions from the conference and to discuss with the National Careers Service the possibility of a pilot targeting older workers.

 

The criteria for the proposed Institutes of Technology were being developed by the Department for Education, and the Skills Hub were considering how to support this work in Lancashire. It was commented that this could be a good opportunity for Lancashire but that there may be a potential for duplication in this area, and the LEP should observe the development of this work closely.

 

The Skills Hub was working with the National Apprenticeship Service to pilot closer working and data sharing. A number of businesses had requested a business to business event to discuss and share ideas. It was commented that there was a need to train business managers in how to perform their own training needs analysis.

 

Resolved:

 

1.  That the update be noted

 

2.  That the Committee meeting scheduled for 07 September 2017 be held at Myerscough College

6.

Local Landscape - update

Verbal report - Martin Kelly

Minutes:

Martin Kelly updated the Committee on local changes.

 

It had been hoped that the Combined Authority would be in place by April 2017; although there had been some progress, the structure had not been put in place, and there had been a decline in the government's appetite for devolution. However, there was still a desire in Lancashire for collaborative working across the three tiers, and a need to consider how to respond to the needs and opportunities across districts, alongside the refresh of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The next meeting was planned for the end of June, the first meeting since the change in political leadership of Lancashire County Council after the May elections.

 

It was suggested that the LEP may need to consider its structure in light of the new SEP, and consider the Northern Powerhouse and other national policies post-election to ensure Lancashire could feed into those agenda.

 

It was commented that the Skills and Employment Board may need to review and refresh priorities following the refreshed SEP.

 

Resolved: that the information be noted

7.

Skills and Employment Framework Refresh

Verbal report – Amanda Melton

Minutes:

Amanda Melton presented the slides previously circulated outlining the headlines from the planning session in January.

 

The Committee were requested to reflect on areas where clear objectives for delivery in 2017/18 could be achieved. However, it was noted that this would be most meaningful after the SEP refresh and in the light of general election outcome.

 

Resolved: that the skills and employment strategic framework and refresh be considered in more detail after the election and SEP refresh were completed.

8.

Refresh of Evidence Base - Future Workforce (0-16)

Minutes:

Robert Arrowsmith, Head of Service Policy, Performance & Data, Blackburn with Darwen Council, presented a summary of school performance across Lancashire and highlighted the following:

 

·  Lancashire's performance overall is roughly in line with expectation however the headline figures mask areas of performance that are significantly below the national average

·  The North West School Improvement Board was created to address low school attainment in response to Ofsted's report. Blackpool, Blackburn, Cumbria and Lancashire were grouped into one sub area, although Cumbria would be included under a different area soon due to boundary changes

·  Although progress in some areas was higher than average, it was important to also consider overall attainment

·  In some areas progress at primary school was much greater than progress at secondary school

·  It was suggested that certain groups of children, for social and family reasons, have a greater vulnerability to not making good progress in school, and that these children and social groups are concentrated in particular areas and regions of the northwest. Therefore, schools serving those areas face a greater challenge in terms of the social circumstances facing the children they educate

·  There was a Strategic School Improvement Fund which schools can bid into if they meet certain criteria

 

The Committee thanked Mr Arrowsmith for his presentation.

 

Graham Cowley updated the Committee on the Blackpool Opportunity Area (BOA).

 

In November the government had announced 6 pilot Opportunity Areas which met 9 factors around social mobility, one of which was Blackpool.

 

The Executive Partnership, overseeing the BOA's Delivery Plan, had identified four key areas of focus in Blackpool: Coordination, School Improvement; Resilience and Aspiration; and Family. Activity was ongoing to map current activities to identify areas of strength and weakness, which had generated a great deal of data.

 

A partnership of deliverers had been identified to test the evidence and the initiatives and strategies, and much general support and cooperation had been shown already.

 

The delivery plan had now been drafted.

 

The Committee thanked Graham for his update.

 

Resolved: that the updates be noted

9.

Area Based Review (ABR): Approval of Terms of Reference for the Implementation Group pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A local Implementation Group, building on the success of the Working Group, had been created to oversee the implementation of the recommendations in the final ABR report. The publication of the final review had been delayed by purdah but was expected after the election.

 

The Committee considered the Terms of Reference. It was requested that 'the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub' be amended to read 'the LEP Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub'.

 

With this amendment, the Terms of Reference were approved.

 

Resolved:

 

1.  That the Terms of Reference be amended to read 'the LEP Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub' instead of 'the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub'

 

2.  That, subject to the above revision, the Terms of Reference for the Implementation Group be approved

10.

Reporting to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

  Identification and agreement of any recommendations for consideration/approval by the LEP Board.

 

  Identification and agreement of issues for inclusion in the feedback report for the LEP Board.

 

Minutes:

The LEP to be informed that the publication of the Lancashire ABR Report had been delayed due to purdah and the election.

11.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There was no other business.

12.

Date of Next Meeting

The next formal meeting will be held on 18 October 2017 in Cabinet Room C – the Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston.

Minutes:

It was agreed that the meeting scheduled for 26 July 2017 would be cancelled.

 

The next informal meeting would be held on 07 September 2017 at 08.00 at Myerscough College.

 

The next formal meeting would be held on 18 October 2017 at 08.00 in Cabinet Room C – the Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston

At this point the  Committee approved that the meeting move into Part II, Private and Confidential to consider the remaining item which contained exempt information provided in confidence as defined in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  It was considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

13.

ESF SFA Opt-Ins

Minutes:

The three Strategic Partnership Officers, Tracy Heyes, Sara Gaskell and Janet Jackson, attended to provide an update on the ESFA Opt-in projects' performance.

13a

ESF SFA Opt-ins: Performance Report

(Not for Publication - Exempt information as defined in Paragraph 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information)

Minutes:

The Committee considered the performance reports for each project.

 

There was a discussion around the value of steering groups, their accountability, and the importance of ensuring they were delivering results rather than simply generating discussion.

 

The Committee approved the terms of reference for the Lancashire Access to Employment Steering Group and the Lancashire Adult Skills Forum.

 

Resolved:

 

1.  That the information in the performance reports be noted

 

2.  That the Terms of Reference for the Lancashire Access to Employment Steering Group and the Lancashire Adult Skills Forum be approved

13b

ESF SFA Opt-ins: Re-profile Requests

(Not for Publication - Exempt information as defined in Paragraph 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information)

Minutes:

The Committee considered the re-profile requests for the three ESFA Opt-in projects.

 

Employees Support in Skills - after discussion, during which the Committee expressed concern that there was low take up of Level 3 provision and that learndirect should be requested to proactively engage and support learners at level 3 and above, the Committee agreed to support the re-profile to direct 50% of the funding in the Intermediate and Higher Level strand towards Level 2 qualifications, and 50% towards Levels 3 and 4, on the understanding that performance at Level 3 and 4 will be incentivised due to the existing progression payments from Level 2 that are built into the contract.

 

Access to Employment - after discussion, the Committee agreed to support the re-profile request as set out in the report.

 

Moving ON (NEET) - after discussion, the Committee agreed to support the re-profile request as set out in the report.

 

Resolved:

 

1.  That the re-profile request for the Employees Support in Skills project is approved as set out in the report, on the understanding that performance at Level 3 and 4 will be incentivised by the existing progression payments that are built into the contract, and that that learndirect should be requested to proactively engage and support learners at level 3 and above

 

2.  That the re-profile request for the Access to Employment project is approved as set out in the report

 

3.  That the re-profile request for the Moving On project is approved as set out in the report


13c

ESF SFA Opt-ins: Capacity Building/Engagement Activity Plans - Progress Report

(Not for Publication - Exempt information as defined in Paragraph 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information)

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report outlining the Working Group's progress and proposed changes to the Capacity Building/Engagement Activity plan. The changes proposed were cost neutral and would not alter the overall value of the activity.

 

The Committee agreed the changes to the activity plan as set out in the report.

 

Resolved:

 

1.  That the report and progress be noted

 

2.  That the changes to the Capacity Building/Engagement Activity plan as set out in the report be approved