Work and Skills Strategy

In line with our co-operative vision, the Council’s Work and Skills Strategy aspires to achieve four simple strategic goals over the 2016-20 period.  These goals build on the recommendations set out in the Council’s 2015 Local Economic Assessment, and provide the strategic context for the Outcomes Framework described below:

  • Create jobs
  • Social regeneration and in-work progression
  • Deliver the OESC and improve the colleges
  • Support a thriving private sector

Outcomes framework: the Strategy commits partners to working collaboratively in pursuit of twelve priority themes, and associated high level goals articulated in a new work and skills outcomes framework for Oldham.  This begins to articulate the Oldham expectations of the learning, skills and employment support systems locally and across GM for the 2016-20 period.  It provides the basis for developing work plans for the new strategic partnership on skills and employment for Oldham; it also sets out the initial ask of devolved commissioning of these systems from the Council to GM.  As such it will be subject to review and adaptation over the life of the strategy.

 

Ref Priority Theme 2016 status 2020 Outcome
1. Population skills outcomes

 

Summarised in section H on skills performance Closing the gap: consistent with the SIF, population skills outcomes (% of residents qualified at L1-4+ inclusive) should demonstrate a rate of improvement at or above GM averages.
2. Provider performance Current OFSTED judgements No provider rated less than “Good” by OFSTED
3. Apprenticeships As of 2013/14 data,  2nd lowest Apprenticeships pass rate in GM  – 2040 leavers with pass rate of 65.8% 1.    By 2020, high quality sectoral specific and relevant apprenticeships should be provided across Oldham, maximising the value of the levy and meeting business needs of our future employment base.

2.    Closing the gap with GM success rates in context of onset of Apprenticeship Levy

3.    Maximise the value of Levy-funded provision for Oldham Council as an employer

4. Schools Actions as per December 2015 Oldham Education and Skills Commission (OESC) report 1.    Improved secondary outcomes at age 16

2.    Establishment and successful mobilisation of self-improvement vehicle recommended by OESC

5. GM Area-based  review (ABR) of colleges Not yet reported 1.    Implementation of a sustainable and supported ABR settlement for Oldham, including a strong, financially sustainable institutional presence retained in the borough

2.    An Oldham post-16 provider market with a comprehensive entry – L2 offer for residents

3.    A provider offer for L3+ in Oldham focussing provision on sectoral priorities

6. Sectoral priorities Not currently articulated Consistent with the SIF, the strategy focusses on six key sectors for employment growth and skills provision in Oldham:

 

1.    Health and social care

2.    Services (1): professional/ business/digital services

3.    Services (2): retail/leisure/ hospitality

4.    Engineering and manufacturing

5.    Construction and property

6.    Logistics

 

The strategy seeks to support development of a sustainable provider base for Oldham to secure skills and progression pathways appropriate to these sectors.

7. Get Oldham Working #2: local employment support programmes Get Oldham Working exceeded objectives for over 2,015 job, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities from 2013-15 1.    Engage over 6,000 residents through the second phase of Get Oldham Working from 2016-20,

2.    Fill over 5,000 jobs and work-related opportunities

 

8. Progression strategy No comprehensive progression model in place 1.    Invest in a new pilot Oldham Career Advancement Service – an extended information, advice and guidance offer seeking to help over 400 residents already in work to progress from low pay, low skill jobs during the initial pilot phase
9. Advanced learning loans strategy ·         150-300 applications in Oldham in 2014-15

·         Nationally, total value of loans ready for payment £148.8m in 2014/15, against forecast national budget of £500M p/a by 2020

1.    Work with providers and employers to increase demand for loan-funded provision for 19+, L3+ provision as alternative to Apprenticeships route

2.    Build loans promotion into Career Advancement pilot model

3.    Develop local strategy to manage emerging tensions between loans and Apprenticeship Levy policy

10. Higher level skills and HE strategy Provider environment including University Campus Oldham, the GM UTC in Oldham and other aspects of provider offer 1.    Retain and support growing UCO presence in Oldham, and the enhanced HE offer proposed in Oldham’s ABR settlement

2.    Retention of specialist L4/5+ provision in Oldham supporting the emerging curriculum model for ABR settlement

3.    Achieve higher level apprenticeships growth with providers as Levy takes effect

4.    Grow L4+ loan funded provision in line with advanced learner loan strategy

11. Community Learning and Lifelong Learning provision Service rated “outstanding” by OFSTED in December 2015 1.    Strategic review of the Council’s Lifelong Learning Service to be undertaken in advance of the 2017/18 academic year.

2.    Retention of current OFSTED quality rating and learner outcomes

3.    Maintenance of qualification and non-qualification based AEB-funded provision in Oldham under devolved commissioning for 2018/19+, supporting re-engagement of learners with the skills system, and progression pathways

4.    Develop an adapted referral and progression model and evaluate impact  across providers in Oldham

12. DWP commissioned national employment support programmes Work programme performance

Working Well 1 performance

1.    Fully engage in GM-wide Work & Health programme commissioning against risks of depleted national employment support budget

2.    Support local contractors in supply chain management to deliver a successful expansion of the phase 2 Working Well programme for Oldham, and manage new Integration Board successfully

 

The Strategy challenges the Oldham Economy & Skills Partnership to recognise two competing pressures which have contributed to structural weaknesses and skills under-performance and under-utilisation in Oldham:

  • The failure of the GM ‘trickle down’ economic strategy.
  • The success of Oldham’s physical transformation vs. our continuing poor performance on skills