Decision Session – Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning


23 March 2021

Report of the Assistant Director Education and Skills


 One-year plan – Skills for employment in York



1.   The Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning received a paper on the Skills and Employment Board and Skills Strategy at his decision session on 22 September 2020. This set out York’s key skills and employment related issues and highlighted the need to strengthen the city-wide partnership approach that had been adopted during the early phase of the pandemic to continue to help people through change.


2.   A subsequent skills and employment update was provided to the Executive Member at his Decision Session on 22 December 2020. That paper provided an update on:

·        the skills and employment support available to people and businesses in York

·        progress made by the Skills and Employment Board’s Task & Finish Group to build an evidence base to underpin the one-year plan and 10-year strategy

·        the timeline for developing the one-year skills plan. 

3.   This report informs the Executive Member about the development of the One-year plan – Skills for Employment in York, delivered through the city’s Skills and Employment Board, and presents that plan for endorsement by the Executive Member.



4.   The Executive Member is asked to:


          i.    note the content of the report;

        ii.    endorse the One-year plan – Skills for Employment in York, recognising the strong partnership approach taken to understand, reflect and respond to local priorities.


Reason: To continue to help support people and businesses through change and begin developing the skills infrastructure that will support York’s longer-term economic recovery from COVID-19.




5.    The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals and businesses, with an increased need to support people of all ages into work, to progress or change careers, and to ensure that businesses can access the skills and talent they need to diversify or grow.


6.    From the early stages of the first lockdown, skills and education partners across the city have been working together to help people through change; aligning, adapting and communicating the support available to both individuals and businesses.


7.    The One-year plan – Skills for Employment in York builds on this approach by setting out 5 shared commitments:


·         York works – skills support for individuals 

Support those entering, re-entering or displaced from the workforce to re-train or upskill and connect them with good jobs in sustainable and growth sectors. 


·         Empowered employers – skills support for businesses 

Support businesses of all sizes to access national, regional and local skills provision to help them plan, diversify and grow. 

·         Pioneering provision – productive partnerships 

Work in partnership to make the most of national, regional and local initiatives and adapt local skills provision in response to emerging needs.


·         Education to employment and self-employment – York’s pipeline

Support positive progressions for all by preparing those transitioning from education or re-entering the world of work for a culture of lifelong learning and entrepreneurship.  


·         York shares - communicating the offer

Develop a coherent and effective marketing and communications strategy to ensure information advice and guidance is provided at the point of need in a timely and effective way.


8.   Underpinned by an evidence base built over the past nine months, these commitments respond to the local impact of the pandemic on skills and employment and lay the foundations upon which York’s longer-term skills strategy will be delivered.


9.   The plan provides more detail on each commitment and how partners across the city will help to deliver on these over the coming months.


Next steps


10.    The below diagram shows how the partnership approach to skills is working in York.



11.    Commitment working groups – led by Askham Bryan College, York College, University of York and York St John University – have drafted implementation plans covering the partnership activity under each commitment.


12.    At its meeting on 16 March, the Skills and Employment Board will review and feedback on the detailed implementation plans, including ownership for delivering, measuring and reporting activity. 


13.    The Task and Finish Group - resourced by Askham Bryan College, York College, University of York, York St John University, York Learning and the council – continues to build the local evidence base and support the Skills and Employment Board to develop the city’s longer-term strategy.


14.    Design and publication of the One-year plan – Skills for Employment in York is supported by the council’s Skills and Employment Recovery Communications Plan.




15.    The Skills and Employment Board comprises education and skills providers, local employers and representatives, employee representatives, the Local Enterprise Partnership and City of York Council.  The upcoming meeting on 16 March will be the Board’s fourth meeting since December 2020, with members providing input to the one-year skills plan during and outside of meetings.


16.    In addition to the Executive Members’ Decision Sessions in September and December 2020, the one-year skills plan was a key agenda item at the commissioned joint scrutiny session (Economy & Place and Children, Education & Communities) on 1 February 2021.  Members were invited to provide feedback on the shared commitments and this has been taken into account by the partnership.  


17.    Employer voice has helped to build the local evidence base and shape the plan. Examples of direct engagement include: Make it York Business Survey (Q2 2020), Sector Roundtables, York Business Week Skills Event, Business Leaders group and qualitative interviews.


Council Plan


18.    The Council Plan identifies eight priorities, four of which are relevant to this work:

·               Well-paid and an inclusive economy;

·               A better start for children and young people;

·               Safer communities and culture for all;

·               An open and effective council.




19.    The following implications have been considered:

·               Financial – no implications

·               Human Resources (HR) – no implications

·               Equalities – no implications.    

·               Legal – no implications

·               Crime and Disorder – no implications.

·               Information Technology (IT) – no implications.

·               Property – no implications.


Risk Management


20.    No risks identified.


Contact Details


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Alison Edeson

Skills Team Manager

Education & Skills





Maxine Squire

Assistant Director – Education & Skills


Report Approved



11 March 2021



Background Papers: None



Appendix A: One-year plan – Skills for employment in York