Decision Session – Executive Member for

Culture, Leisure & Communities


4 October 2022

Report of the Director of Customer and Communities


York Learning – Strategic Plan




1.           This report presents York Learning’s position for the academic year 2022/23, offers clear areas for development and highlights areas of the provision that continue to grow and demonstrate success. 


2.        The Executive Member is asked to consider the attached Strategic / Service Plan and approve it subject to any suggested changes. 


Reason: To help monitor the service and ensure sound governance arrangement for York Learning Services.




3.        York Learning is a council service, which delivers a range of learning programmes to support people into employment, to improve their skills and to support their personal development. The service is funded almost exclusively from external contract funding and fee income.


4.        This report, which is for the academic year 2022/2023, is an important element in enabling the service to demonstrate to Ofsted that it has secure and robust governance arrangements in place.




5.The plan is presented for consultation and approval.



6.    The attached plan is presented for comment and amendment by the Executive Member prior to approval.




7.        For the local skills strategies to succeed, members of the local community will need to see themselves as learners. As cited in the approved service strategy this is not currently the case. There is a clear disconnect between the needs of local employers, local economy, local skills offer and the majority of the local adult population. Shaping a service offer to engage individuals to encourage them to progress, move workplaces or set up on their own, is as important as the work targeted to get people into work who are economically inactive. Setting out an intent to recruit wider, recognising our starting points and strengths will enable the service to have a marked impact on the local economic needs and support a greater range of individuals to meet their potential.


8.        Data on a local and national scale clearly demonstrates that those with the lowest skills are those least likely to engage with further education and training. Often this is a result of poor experiences at school or college and the perceived fear of further ‘failure’. This perception creates a significant barrier to engagement with provision and whilst some will engage in creative or leisure provision, this is likely to be either later in life or to overcome other barriers.


9.        Engaging this group of people requires overcoming a range of barriers which can better support adult learners to engage with the provision FE and HE colleges provide.   It is therefore essential that the offer provided via York Learning seeks to overcome these barriers in a way that can support individuals to engage in learning that progresses them, through effective curriculum design and collaborative arrangements, to the best provider to meet their skills and progression goals. Continuing to develop working partnerships with colleges, universities and training providers should ensure that we are seen to be the gateway to learning for local adults.


10.    Multiply is government funding via the UK Shared prosperity fund with the overall objective of increasing the levels of functional numeracy in the UK adult population. This will be measured against 3 key success measures:

1.           More adults achieving maths qualifications

2.           Improved labour market outcomes

3.           Increased adult numeracy across the population


11.        This funding at upper tier authority level has been distributed in York and North Yorkshire as follows:


North Yorkshire















12.        The investment plan required us to match regional needs to a menu of prescribed interventions.  York has a high proportion of adult with a level 4 qualification or above which makes them ineligible for funding within this initiative. Equally, Multiply funding cannot displace or replicate anything currently delivered through the adult skills budget.


13.        The strong intention in the use of this funding is to support progression on to provision that will upskill / reskill individuals to address the significant skills shortages in the region. Additional to this will be to use the experiences of the provider base to test delivery and engagement methods with different demographics who do not currently engage with adult learning.


14.        Multiply will enable us maximise opportunities within organisations not currently engaged with funded delivery to increase engagement with numeracy.  This will require training, co-ordination and quality assurance but will greatly increase the delivery capacity without having an adverse impact on other funded provision.


15.        What will be key will be the places were face-face delivery will take place, again the aim is to take Multiply into communities and utilise community spaces rather than displace other funded activity.


16.        We will also be seeking to increase the embedding of number and number principles into existing provision that already attracts learners. This ‘soft touch’ approach will again increase capacity without displacing the provision. The development of resources that will seamlessly do this will again offer a better value approach in the use of funds.


Council Plan


17.       The strategic plan highlights in section 1 – 1.4 how the service offer works to support the different elements of the council plan and related impact and successes on residents and communities.

18.       York Learning’s plan is set within the context of the Council Plan and emerging Skills Plan.  The service promotes an offer that supports the overall health and wellbeing of communities affording York residents the opportunity to secure well-paid jobs within an inclusive economy; a better start for children and young people; safe communities and culture for all. The service responds to a number of sub regional, regional, and national policy objectives. The service will adapt to the asks that come out of the Local Enterprise Partnership objectives and will be central to the skills statement as part of the devolution process.



19.       Financial:-   The service is fully funded via external contracts and grants.  The budget remains challenging, and the service will continue to seek additional income streams.


20.       Human Resources (HR)  The report has no Human Resources, implications.


21.       Equalities     -  The strategic plan aims to improve a flatter demographic spread of residents across the city to give greater equal access to skills development and improve employability.


22.       Legal   The report has no Legal, Crime and Disorder, Information Technology, Property or other implications.


23.    Risk Management

In compliance with the Council’s risk management strategy the main risks identified associated with the areas of work covered in this report are operational:  affecting delivery of the Council’s business objectives and its image and reputation.  Measured in terms of impact and likelihood, the risk score has been assessed at 10 which equates to “Low”.  This is acceptable but means that regular monitoring will be required of the Quality Improvement Plans.












Contact Details



Angela Padfield

Head of Service

York Learning

01904 555987





Chief Officer Responsible for the report:



Co-Author’s Name

Paul Cliff

Joint Strategic Head of York and North Yorkshire Adult Learning and Skills

York Learning


Pauline Stuchfield

Director of Customer and Communities


Report Approved











Wards Affected: 






For further information please contact the author of the report





Annex A York Learning Strategic Plan 2022_23



FE  - Further Education

HE – Higher Education