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West Midlands LSC Strategic Analysis Report 2008
 

West Midlands LSC Strategic Analysis Report 2008

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    West Midlands LSC Strategic Analysis Report 2008 West Midlands LSC Strategic Analysis Report 2008 Document Transcript

    • West Midlands Strategic Analysis 2008 November 2008 Of interest to partners, providers and any other parties interested in 1 learning and skills in the West Midlands.
    • Introduction.............................................................................................................................. 3 1 The Strategic Context..................................................................................................... 4 1.1 Enabling the System to Deliver................................................................................... 4 1.2 Leitch .......................................................................................................................... 5 1.3 Demand Led Funding ................................................................................................. 5 1.4 Public Service Agreements / Local Area Agreements................................................ 6 1.4.1 Local Area Agreements ........................................................................................... 7 1.5 World Class Apprenticeships / National Apprenticeship Service ............................... 8 1.6 Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF) / Foundation Learning Tier .......................... 9 1.7 Integrating Employment and Skills ........................................................................... 10 1.8 Adult Advancement and Careers Service................................................................. 11 1.9 Train to Gain ............................................................................................................. 11 1.10 National Skills Academies ...................................................................................... 13 1.11 Sub National Review .............................................................................................. 14 2 The Demand for Skills .................................................................................................. 16 2.1 Regional Economy.................................................................................................... 16 2.2 Overall Skills Performance ....................................................................................... 18 2.3 Qualification Attainment............................................................................................ 19 2.4 Employer Skills Issues.............................................................................................. 21 2.5 Demographic Changes and the Supply of Skills ...................................................... 24 2.6 Trends in Labour Market Participation...................................................................... 27 2.7 Sector Analysis ......................................................................................................... 31 2.8 Implications for Education, Training and Skills Delivery ........................................... 32 3 Provision Analysis........................................................................................................ 34 3.1 Young People (14-19)............................................................................................... 34 3.1.1 The National Context ............................................................................................. 34 3.1.5 Level 2 and Level 3 Attainment by age 19 ............................................................ 46 3.2 Adult.......................................................................................................................... 66 3.3 Employer................................................................................................................... 71 3.4 Quality and Provider Development ........................................................................... 76 4 Key Regional Strategies............................................................................................... 80 4.1 The 14-19 Strategy ................................................................................................... 80 4.2 Regional Economic Strategy .................................................................................... 81 4.3 Regional Spatial Strategy ......................................................................................... 82 4.4 Regional Skills Action Plan ....................................................................................... 83 4.5 The West Midlands Train to Gain Plan for Growth Improvement Plan .................... 84 4.6 Integrated Employment and Skills ............................................................................ 85 4.7 National Apprenticeship Service – West Midlands Regional Action Plan ................ 88 4.8 Quality Strategy ........................................................................................................ 90 4.9 Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities (LLDD) ................................. 91 4.9.2 Learning for Living and Work Developmental Activity ........................................... 92 4.10 Economic Development and Regeneration ............................................................ 92 4.11 Skills for Life............................................................................................................ 93 4.12 Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS)...................................................... 93 4.13 Equality and Diversity Action Plan .......................................................................... 94 4.14 Information Advice and Guidance .......................................................................... 95 4.15 The Third Sector ..................................................................................................... 96 4.16 Capital Strategy ...................................................................................................... 97 4.17 European Social Fund ............................................................................................ 99 4.18 Olympics 2012 ...................................................................................................... 101 4.19 Rural Agenda ........................................................................................................ 102 2
    • Introduction The West Midlands Strategic Analysis 2008 has been developed by the LSC Learning Planning and Performance (LPP) team in the region. It has been produced with the support of a Strategic Analysis steering group comprised of LSC colleagues from across the region and local area offices including members of the Skills team, the Economic Development teams, Partnership managers and representatives from the LPP team. The report forms a key part of the Learning and Skills Council’s annual business cycle. Its purpose is to underpin the Regional Commissioning Statement for 2009/10 by providing the evidence to inform decisions about our strategic priorities and the learning provision we need to commission from our providers in the West Midlands. The Strategic Analysis is intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the needs of learners, employers and communities in the West Midlands, and to assess the extent to which the mix and quality of the region’s LSC funded learning provision meets these needs. The intended audience are the local office Partnership Teams, the Economic Development teams, the Regional Skills team, the Learning Planning and Performance team and all of our colleges, providers and Local Authorities. The report has drawn on the extensive evidence base which now exists within the region through for example, the work of the West Midlands Regional Observatory and the LSC Regional Research and Data Teams, covering economic performance, employment and skills issues. It addresses the regional and sub regional perspectives in particular, but it also draws out the Local Authority perspective where this is particularly relevant to the 14-19 agenda in the region. It contains detailed skills analysis on twelve of our key sectors in the region and the report also disaggregates data and information down to local authority level for all Young People (14-19) LSC funded activity. The report demonstrates for example that the LSC in the West Midlands has already made great improvements in the number of young people achieving Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, moving more young people into courses at this level and maintaining good levels of retention. Between 2003/04 and 2006/07 achievement at full Level 3 for Young People increased by nearly 7 per cent, one of the highest increases in the country. Gaining further improvement in Level 2 and Level 3 participation and achievement both for Young People and Adults remains a high priority for the region in meeting the challenges outlined in our Skills Action Plan. The region is still dealing with the economic, social and structural consequences of its past dependence on traditional industries, which is reflected in some poor performance across a number of indicators. Significant progress has been made in raising the adult qualifications attainment levels in the region and whilst there are wide local variations among the West Midlands population, the analysis report demonstrates that regional productivity levels, qualifications attainment and participation in learning remain below the England average. The economic challenges facing the region, exacerbated by the current economic downturn require the further education sector to respond in new ways to ensure that the West Midlands region has the skills base to guarantee prosperity and social cohesion. Hopefully this report will help to inform key partners and stakeholders so that they are better equipped to understand and tackle these challenges in the West Midlands. 3
    • 1 The Strategic Context Major reform programmes for 14-19 year olds and adult skills have been put in place backed by substantial investment. Those reforms are bringing about real progress and are based upon several key reports and policies from Government. The Further Education sector will continue to see progressive and effective change with new policy drivers in place prompting the need for different organisational structures. The following section summarises the policies and reports setting out the strategic context for these changes. 1.1 Enabling the System to Deliver The Secretaries of State of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), announced the Machinery of Government (MoG) changes in their publication Enabling the System to Deliver in March 2007. The starting point for these reforms is the ambition to raise the education participation age and deliver better outcomes for all young people, an ambition which has been at the heart of the Every Child Matters agenda and which was emphasised again in the recent Children’s Plan. The reforms provide an opportunity to bring together in one place responsibility for the outcomes and achievement of all young people aged 0-19. The reforms build on the existing role and expertise of local authorities as commissioners of a wide range of services which will help support pre-19 education and training. From 2010 subject to legislation), local authorities will have a statutory duty to provide learning places for pre-19 year olds. Local Authorities will be supported in this by a new Non Departmental Public Body, the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) The future commissioning process requires local authorities to work together to develop and agree plans in sub regional groupings. Commissioning decisions need to be made collectively to ensure that the decisions of one LA do not adversely impact on another and ensure purchasing decisions provide the best value for money, promote provider stability and provide the highest quality and choice of provision for the learner. Regional Planning Groups of LAs and key partners will agree the plans of the sub-regional groupings; ensuring coherence regionally. A two stage, Government Office led, process has seen initial sub regional groupings outlined, with DCSF feedback due to be given by November 2008. Comprehensive proposals submitted as ‘ready’ between November 2008 and February 2009, with feedback given by March 2009. For adults and employers there will be a new Skills Funding Agency (SFA), which will oversee the distribution of funds to the sector and manage the performance of FE colleges. The Agency will also house the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the National Employer Service, and the Adult Advancement and Careers Service. As has already been announced, the Train to Gain brokerage service will transfer to Regional Development Agencies in April 2009. 4
    • Meanwhile, the LSC continues to have a statutory role in post-19, and must continue to focus on expanding the Train to Gain programme, and to tackle adult basic skills, including securing closer integration between skills and employment, and ensuring that a wide range of engagement/progression routes are available to support economic and social inclusion. A blueprint of the future post 19 delivery will be made available in the Autumn 2008. 1.2 Leitch The LSC has been instrumental in delivering improvements in adult education and skills training. However the Leitch review has shown how much further there is to go if we are to develop the highly skilled workforce that we will need by 2020. The Leitch Implementation Plan (LIP) is the Government’s response to the Leitch Review (in England), and was published in July 2007. The main reforms announced in the Leitch Implementation Plan are focused on the need to bring about a culture change in developing aspirations and responsibility for skills development among individuals and employers. These include meeting the Leitch skills targets, moving to a demand-led system of skills delivery and integration of employment and skills and will require a step change in the adult skills delivery landscape. The plan set out an endorsement of the need identified in the Leitch Review for a significant increase in adult skills targets, in Apprenticeship places, and in the participation and achievement rates of young people. An increasing proportion of funding for adult skills will be ‘demand-led’. The balance of public investment will be focused on ensuring that individuals have a platform of skills for employability and progression. Colleges will increasingly need to focus on providing flexible training that meets learner/employer needs in order to attract ‘demand-led’ funding. New standards for employer responsiveness and vocational excellence will be introduced in 2008. The advent of Skills Accounts and the growth of Train to Gain sees a radically different model of organisation of the skills system, where the government role is to ensure customers are empowered, well informed and well supported so demand can lead supply. 1.3 Demand Led Funding The FE White Paper Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances (March 2006) set out the commitment to develop a new approach to funding and to move to a position where more funding is driven directly by employer and learner choice. The Leitch Review of Skills also called for a fully Demand-Led system. The LSC consulted with the sector on a new funding approach in January 2007 in the document Delivering World-class Skills in a Demand-led System (LSC, 2007). Following this consultation the LSC has developed a new funding approach, Demand Led funding. The new funding approach has been introduced for 2008/09 replacing the funding methodologies for Further Education, School Sixth Forms, Work Based Learning and Train To Gain. For 2008/09 the LSC now has three Demand Led Funding models: the 16- 18 learner-responsive, the adult learner-responsive and the employer responsive. The introduction of Demand Led funding is also seen as a simplification of process, with greater transparency over the impact of performance on funding Levels. There is commonality across all three models which all utilize Standard Learning Numbers 5
    • (SLN) as a standard unit of learning volume, each SLN will be subject to the national funding rate and a provider factor with variations in respect of reconciliation and payment rules across the three models. Guidance on the funding principles, rules and regulations for Demand Led Funding for LSC providers can be found on the LSC website http://www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/funding-policy/demand-led- funding/Further_Education_Funding_Policy_Documents_2008-09.htm The LSC will work to embed the new funding approach in 2008/09 undertaking reviews as necessary for 2009/10. 1.4 Public Service Agreements / Local Area Agreements Public Service Agreements (PSA) are fundamental to the Government’s approach to delivering world-class public services, combining clear national goals with unprecedented Levels of transparency. They inject ambition into the public services, whilst providing the public and the users of services with more information than ever before with which to hold services to account. Building on the success of the previous PSAs, the Government has been working with frontline professionals, the public and external experts to renew the performance management framework for the next decade. The 2007 CSR announced the culmination of this work, with 30 new PSAs setting a vision for continuous and accelerated improvement. New PSAs set out the key priority outcomes the Government wants to achieve in the spending period (2008- 2011). The relevant PSA Targets to the LSC are: PSA 10 – “Raise the educational achievement of all children and young people so that by 2010/11”: • 82% of young people achieve Level 2 by the age of 19 (PSA 10 Indicator 5) • 54% of young people achieve Level 3 by the age of 19 (PSA 10 Indicator 6) PSA 11 – “Narrow the gap in educational achievement between children from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers” (PSA 11 indicator 6) In addition the LSC to lead on: • Increasing the number of 17 year olds in education or training so that 86% are participating in 2010/11 • Reducing the inequality gap in attainment at Levels 2 and 3 PSA 14 – “Increase the number of children and young people on the path to success”. • reducing the proportion of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), by 2 percentage points by 2010, from a baseline of 10% (PSA 14 Indicator 1) 6
    • PSA 2 – “Improve the skills of the population, on the way to ensuring a world-class skills base by 2020”. The LSC is expected to improve the skills of the population by 2011, consistent with the 2020 objectives of the Leitch Review of Skills – by helping to ensure that: • 597,000 people of working age to achieve a first Level 1 or above literacy qualification, and 390,000 to achieve a first Entry Level 3 or above numeracy qualification. (PSA 2 Indicator 1) • 79% of working age adults (men and women aged 19 to pension age) qualified to at least full Level 2 (PSA 2 Indicator 2) • 56% of working age adults (men and women aged 19 to pension age) qualified to at least full Level 3 (PSA 2 Indicator 3) • 130,000 apprenticeships to complete the full apprenticeship framework in 2010/11 (PSA 2 Indicator 4) PSA 4 - Science and Innovation – “help achieve the Government’s ambition to deliver world class science and innovation in the UK through”: • The number of young people in England taking A Levels in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biological science (PSA 4 Indicator 5) In addition the LSC is expected to support the higher education sector to achieve the HE PSA participation target. • Increase participation in Higher Education towards 50 per cent of those aged 18 to 30 with growth of at least a percentage point every two years to the academic year 2010/11. The LSC is also expected to lead on the delivery of agreed key indicators including: • An Apprenticeship completion success rate target for 2008-09 of 65% • An FE learner Success Rate of 80% for FE colleges by 2010/11 • The Framework for Excellence The PSA Delivery Agreements and the Service Transformation Agreement are all available on the HM Treasury website at 2007 PBR CSR: Public service agreements 1.4.1 Local Area Agreements The new national indicator set for local authorities and local authority partnerships was announced as part of the Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. The new national indicators will be the only means of measuring national priorities that have been agreed by Government. The number of national indicators has been radically reduced, from the around 1200 that local authorities and their partners reported on, to 198. The headline definitions for the 198 are contained in the document The New Performance Framework for Local Authorities and Local Authority Partnerships: Single Set of National Indicators. The national indicator set will be the only measures on which central government will performance manage outcomes delivered by local government working alone or in partnerships. From April 2008, all other sets of indicators, including Best Value Performance Indicators and Performance Assessment Framework indicators, have been abolished. 7
    • In each area, targets against the set of national indicators will be negotiated through new Local Area Agreements (LAAs). Each Agreement will include up to 35 targets from among the national indicators, complemented by 17 statutory targets on educational attainment and early years. There will be no other way of setting targets, no other way of Whitehall managing local authority performance. Setting the targets will be the subject of genuine negotiation between central Government and the local area. Even where targets are set out for Public Service Agreements at national Level, local areas will have the flexibility to respond to these national ambitions in the most appropriate way in negotiation with Government Offices. The Local Area Agreements are a three-year agreement between a local area and central government. The LAA sets out how local priorities will be met by applying local solutions. The LSC has a legal obligation to participate in the LAA’s and as one of the local strategic partners we are actively engaged in the process. 1.5 World Class Apprenticeships / National Apprenticeship Service The creation of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) was announced in June 2007 as part of the ’Machinery of Government’ proposals to reform the education and skills sector. The intention to develop NAS represented the delivery of the recommendation by the Government Select Committee on Economic Affairs, which called for a "new and powerful unit, reporting directly to a cabinet minister to 'own' and take responsibility for apprenticeships”. In January 2008 the Government published the strategy for the future of Apprenticeships in England, ‘World-Class Apprenticeships: Unlocking Talent, Building Skills For All’. This document set out the importance of improving skill Levels in England and outlined a range of activities required to enable Government to meet these challenges, including significantly improving the Apprenticeships experience for employers and individuals and removing bureaucracy in the system. The new National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will be the organisation which will take end-to-end responsibility for Apprenticeships. Via a fieldforce working with employers, learners, partners and stakeholders to raise the profile and uptake of Apprenticeships, it will aim to achieve the significant expansion of the Apprenticeship programme first described in the 2006 Leitch Review of Skills. A National Delivery plan has been developed to manage the change process associated with establishing this new organisation and approach. Whilst the performance of the Apprenticeship programme is strong – with the number of Apprenticeship completions now running at record Levels and 2007/08 seeing an increase nationally in starts of around 22% - the Government aspiration is to double the size of the programme to 400,000 apprenticeships, with 1 in 5 young people engaged, by 2020. Apprenticeships are seen as one of the ways in which young people will be encouraged to stay in learning once the participation leaving age is extended to 17 in 2013 and to 18 in 2015. As part of this vision, legislation is in hand to create an ‘entitlement’ to an Apprenticeship. The NAS will be fully functional by April 2009, initially within the LSC, although ultimately sitting within the Skills Funding Agency from 2010. It will have a direct relationship and funding arrangement with both DCSF and DIUS and will work with Local Authorities to secure Apprenticeship provision in line with their 14-19 Commissioning Plans and local/regional patterns of employer and learner demand. 8
    • In September 2007, as part of these proposals, the Prime Minister announced the intention to create a country-wide vacancy matching service (VMS) for Apprenticeships. The VMS will be ready for the promotion of Apprenticeship vacancies by providers and employers in December 2008 and will be available for use by potential applicants from January 2009. 1.6 Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF) / Foundation Learning Tier The UK Qualifications and Reform Programme have been set to create a system that is more responsive to the demands of employers and learners. It consists of several major areas of reform; the sector qualification reform (led by Sector Skills Councils) the development of a unit based credit and qualification framework (led by QCA) and planning, funding and delivery systems to support the reform (led by the LSC). The new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is a new framework for recognising and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The framework is at the heart of a major reform of the vocational qualifications system designed to make the whole system simpler to understand and use and more inclusive. It will be operational outside of a test and trial basis for 2008/09. It is anticipated that by 2010 the QCF will be complete and will replace the current National Qualifications Framework (NQF), during the three year transition period the LSC will fund a mix of QCF and NQF provision with an increasing emphasis on delivery and shift to QCF provision as it becomes available. Providers need to be aware that the LSC will not be expecting to fund any new enrolments on provision outside of the QCF from 1st August 2010. As part of the implementation of UK VQRP, the LSC is also working to better align the adult learner-responsive and employer-responsive funding models within the UK VQRP, part of which involves working trials of unit funding and ensuring current performance measures can better support flexible patterns of achievement in the QCF. The Foundation Learning Tier (FLT) is a programme of work to develop a more focused and strategic approach to Entry Level and Level 1 for learners aged 14 and over within the QCF in order to raise participation, achievement and progression amongst learners at these Levels. Progression Pathways within the Foundation Learning Tier will be the main organising structure, consisting of three distinct components, Vocational knowledge, skills and understanding and functional skills and personal and social development. These components are supported by a wrap around of information, advice and guidance, effective initial assessment, comprehensive ongoing review and provider collaboration. Pathways are specifically designed to promote progression to Level 2 and beyond or to other positive destinations as well as helping learners to achieve qualifications at Entry Level and Level 1 from the QCF. Progression pathways will replace current provision such as Entry to Employment (E2E) Foundation Learning in FE and First Steps Provision. Provision for those with Learning Difficulties and/or disabilities (LLDD) is within the scope of the programme. The first year when Progression Pathways become an established part of mainstream provision will be 2010/11. We will expect to see a significant increase in the number of providers delivering progression pathways and a substantial downturn in existing provision for E2E and First Steps in 2009/10 in preparation for full implementation in 2010/11. The full implementation in 2010/11 will see the 9
    • implementation of a complete set of pathways and all legacy provision replaced by Progression Pathways. 1.7 Integrating Employment and Skills The expression “Integrated Employment and Skills” (IES) was first used in the Leitch report in 2006 as a call on the separate parts of the public sector responsible for skills and employment to work together to deliver an integrated service to the unemployed and low skilled. The two key agencies charged with bringing about this integration are Jobcentre Plus and the LSC. IES is not a specific programme of support, a funding pot, or a new offer to unemployed adults, but it is being used increasingly as a “wrap around” term for a wide range of initiatives and programmes emerging from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. IES is an aspiration for a more joined-up offer to the unemployed which will avoid the current risk that arises when adults move from being unemployed into work and often gain a job but do not continue training or learning. It recognises that if the cycle of unemployment, to poorly paid low skilled work, then back to unemployment is to be broken, training solutions need to be developed to bridge periods of unemployment and employment. This in turn requires that JCP and the LSC programmes of support for the workless must become seamless at the point of delivery. Getting people into work has moved up the political agenda with greater ministerial attention paid to this area. A number of documents and papers including, “Ready to Work, Skilled for Work” and “Opportunity, employment and Progression: Making Skills Work” both published jointly by DIUS and DWP, in recent months, indicating Governments’ direction of travel. “Work Skills” published in June 2008 provided us with an ambitious target for 2010 of helping over 100,000 people to gain sustainable employment and achieve a recognised qualification. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills in its 2010 review of the integrated employment and skills system will consider whether more needs to be done to put employers at its core. Skills Accounts are being developed during 2008/09 and 2009/10 for full rollout from 2010 through to 2015. They will be one part of the interface that individual learners have with the integrated skills and employment system. In 2009/10 there will be a national trial of Skills Accounts in all nine regions of England. This will involve: • Opening up online access to Skills Accounts across the country so that individuals within all regions can open and access Accounts; • A limited number of colleges being identified to open accounts for individuals; • All colleges in the region accepting Skills Account vouchers as the trigger for course enrolment; • Other partners opening accounts for individuals they engage with – face to face nextstep advice services, the national telephone advice service; • Making Skills Accounts available to Jobcentre Plus clients as part of the integration of employment and skills services 10
    • 1.8 Adult Advancement and Careers Service The Government’s intention to establish an adult advancement and careers service in England by autumn 2010, working in close partnership with Jobcentre Plus, was set out in Opportunity, Employment and Progression: making skills work (November 2007). “Work Skills” (June 2008), also set out how the new service, together with Jobcentre Plus, would play a key role in supporting the integration of welfare and skills services across the country, alongside Skills Accounts (an online personalised account for individual learners). The adult advancement and careers service will be a single service, available to everyone, shaped by local partnerships and innovative ways of working. In each local area, partnerships of advice services and providers will deliver advice to individuals that bring together everything they need to know to advance in work and life. The partnerships will operate as a flexible network, sharing information and expertise to deliver a personalised offer of advice and ongoing support. Colleges – which already provide advice and support and act as powerful engines of social mobility – will be part of these arrangements. And together with national web and phone services, and appropriate referral arrangements through to local services, these partnerships will form the new adult advancement and careers service. The advancement service will provide a universal offer – for all those in and out of work – and will also provide targeted support focusing on those with specific barriers to getting into and on in work. The service will work with Train to Gain skills brokers to offer advice to those in work, building on the new qualifications system we are creating to allow people to study for units and credits. And it will also be seamlessly integrated with support from Jobcentre Plus for those seeking work, as set out in Work Skills in June 2008. People looking for a job – whether long-term unemployed or those suddenly made redundant – need comprehensive support to help them improve their skills or acquire new ones, and move into sustainable employment. In addition, Skills Accounts will be rolled out as an integral part of the new service, to ensure that the personalisation and integration of advice is mirrored by the personalisation and integration of funding support for skills, giving people greater control over how Government funding is used to deliver training. Skills Accounts will give people: These innovative new policies will be brought together to create a new adult advancement and careers service for England. 1.9 Train to Gain In August 2006 the Train to Gain service was launched nationally by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to help businesses get the training they need to improve their productivity and competitiveness. The programme is at the very heart of the government Skills Strategy and it contributes directly to the achievement of Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets. Train to Gain offers: • A commitment to jointly invest in training, by employers and government • Access to free and quality assured advice in identifying organisational skills needs • Assistance to identify high quality training and qualification solutions which meet employer needs, including those paid for in part/full by the employer 11
    • • Access to Government subsidised training and qualifications for employers and their employees • Available to all employers, prioritising those who do not currently train The ‘Train to Gain Plan for Growth’ published by the Learning and Skills Council in November 2007 set out a series of evolutionary changes to ensure that Train to Gain evolved and continued to respond to the feedback from employers and consequently remained on track to become a world class service across all parts of the country and provided a more flexible, responsive and inclusive service. Changes included making volunteers and the self employed eligible for Train to Gain support; positioning Apprenticeships firmly within the Train to Gain ‘offer’; better supporting those wishing to return to work; and specific ‘sectoral compacts’ to drive up demand in individual sectors. The Plan included details of the actions and investments that were required as well as the impact on the numbers of employers and employees who would be up- skilled. Train to Gain A Plan for Growth November 2007- July 2011 All businesses now have access to: Full funding for: • Basic skills support at all levels • First full level 2 qualifications (equivalent to 5 GCSEs) and • First Level 3 (equivalent to 2 A-levels) for 19-25 year olds • Some first Level 4 for 19-25 year olds who do not already have a Level 3 • Some funding for people who already have qualifications at Level 2 and 3 and would like to take another. Shared investment between the employer and Government for: • English for Speakers of Other Languages qualifications at all levels • Apprenticeships • For businesses with between 10 and 250 employees, support towards the costs of leadership and management development In addition, the Train to Gain service continues to be able to help businesses source full cost, higher level and bespoke training support. Support tailored to meet sector specific needs The LSC recognises the particular needs of different sectors, and that is why DIUS, LSC and Sector Skills Councils have worked together to tailor and enhance Train to Gain through sector compacts. At 10 November 2008, ten compacts have been agreed and more are expected to follow over the following few months. Businesses have access to a range of benefits including: • Tailored, sector-specific advice from Skills Brokers • Joint Sector Skills Council-LSC marketing about the specific skills offer to employers in specific sectors, with information about qualification routes to meet industry standards • For businesses with more than 250 employees, a full subsidy is available echoing the offer to smaller, private sector businesses at Level 2 and partially subsidised at Level 3 for people who are already skilled at that level for qualifications that SSC’s say are the most important to the sector. 12
    • The Skills Pledge The Skills Pledge, which was launched in June 2007 has helped thousands of companies get the skills they need to succeed. The Skills Pledge is a voluntary, public commitment by the leadership of a company or organisation to support all its employees to develop their basic skills, including literacy and numeracy, and work towards relevant, valuable qualifications to at least Level 2. It provides an opportunity for the leaders of an organisation to show publicly the importance they place on investing in the skills of their people. The Skills Pledge is open to all employers of all sizes in the private, public and voluntary sectors. The LSC’s Train to Gain service plays a key role in the Skills Pledge, providing employers with a free and impartial brokerage system to identify their skills needs and identify routes for them to access work based training. Future enhancements to support small and medium sized businesses In October 2008 as part of a Government-wide package, the support available through Train to Gain has been tailored and enhanced to help small and medium sized, private sector, businesses get the help they need to survive and prosper during tougher economic times. In addition to the main Train to Gain offer, small and medium sized, private sector, businesses can also get support for: • From January 2009 – Smaller, focused, training programmes in subjects demanded by businesses including: business improvement; business systems and processes; team working and communications; sales and marketing; IT User, IT support; customer service; new product design; finance and credit; cash flow and profit management and risk management. • From January 2009 – Fully funded Level 2 qualifications and partially subsidised Level 3 qualifications, regardless of whether the employee already has a qualification at this level. • From November 2008 – Funding for leadership and management training extended to businesses with 5-10 employees. In addition, businesses with less than 50 employees can still receive a contribution to wage costs to cover the cost of time off to train. Full details on these new flexibilities will be available by the end of November. 1.10 National Skills Academies Specialisation Agenda The Leitch recommendations identified the importance of delivering “demand led” provision to meet the current and future needs of employers seeking to remain competitive in a global economy. To achieve this and to ensure a suitable qualified workforce the Learning and Skills Council has developed a range of measures both regionally and nationally to better engage with employers. 13
    • National Skills Academies are employer-led centres of excellence. They deliver the skills required by key sectors and sub-sectors of the economy, contributing to world- class competitiveness through world-class skills. Nationally there are now 12 NSAs in operation with a further 4 which were approved in October 2008. It is planned to have a NSA for each major sector of the economy. The following National Skills Academies are active in the West Midlands region • Construction • Financial Services • Manufacturing • Food and drink manufacturing • Hospitality • Process Industries Levels of activity vary depending on their maturity but all are engaging with employers and working with providers to develop curriculum to meet their needs. Specialist Provider Networks (SPNs) Nine Specialist Provider Networks operate in the region reflecting the regions priority sectors. Their main purpose is to improve the quality of provision, share best practice and to ensure the network understands and meets the needs of their sector. Membership includes training providers, NSAs, Sector Skills Councils, the brokerage service, Business Link and any other organizations with a key role to play in the sector. The Networks key focus is on improving apprenticeships, Train to Gain and the Integrated Employment and Skills service. 1.11 Sub National Review In July 2007, the Government published its review of sub-national economic development and regeneration (sometimes referred to as the sub-national review or SNR). The review, which is currently being finalised following consultation, focuses on how to strengthen economic performance in regions, cities and localities throughout the country, as well as tackling persistent pockets of deprivation. The sub-national review is based on the principles of managing policy at the right spatial Level, ensuring clarity of objectives, and enabling places to reach their potential. In line with these principles, its final report outlined the Government’s plans to refocus both powers and responsibilities below the national Level to support its objectives to encourage economic growth and tackle deprivation at every Level, by: • empowering all local authorities to promote economic development and neighbourhood renewal; • supporting local authorities to work together at the sub-regional Level; • strengthening the regional tier; and • reforming central government’s relations with regions and localities. The review argues that the key challenge for government is to ensure that all regions and localities have the tools and incentives to improve their economic performance and reduce spatial disparities. To meet this challenge, the role of local authorities in economic development and neighbourhood renewal needs to be strengthened further, with more devolution to this Level and with other tiers of government providing support to enable local authorities to fulfil this role. 14
    • The review outlines the Government's plans to refocus both powers and responsibilities to support its objectives to encourage economic growth and tackle deprivation at every Level, by: • empowering all local authorities to promote economic development and neighbourhood renewal, with greater flexibility, stronger partnership working and cooperation from other agencies, and better incentives for achieving economic growth and for ensuring disadvantaged areas benefit from and contribute to economic development; • a differential approach that supports local authorities in all areas to work together more effectively where they so wish, for example through pooling resources, responsibilities and targets at the sub-regional Level, and supporting the development of robust decision-making at this Level; • streamlining the regional tier outside London, based on more effective and accountable RDAs which would be responsible, working closely with local authorities, for preparing a single strategy for the region. RDAs will also provide support to local authorities and sub-regions in delivery of sustainable economic development, with stronger performance management; and • sharpening focus of central government departments through clearer objectives and responsibilities to provide more effective support and better coordination for economic development and neighbourhood renewal at all spatial Levels. 15
    • 2 The Demand for Skills Skills remain at the centre of the economic and social policy agenda and an integral part of national, regional and sub-regional strategies to develop the economy and tackle disadvantage and exclusion. This chapter considers the regional labour market and the factors that will influence the demand for skills in the West Midlands. The region’s economic performance and future prospects will be examined along with employers and individuals investment in skills. Labour market participation, the changing regional demography and barriers to engagement in employment and learning will also be a key focus in order to identify implications for future education, training and skills delivery. This analysis draws together evidence from the latest research studies and data available in order to form a strategic overview. A comprehensive review of skills and labour market issues is available within the West Midlands Skills Assessment1 produced by the West Midlands Regional Observatory, an update of which is due to be published in November. The Skills Assessment also provides sub-regional area profiles for the LSC Area offices: Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and Shropshire, Staffordshire and The Black Country. 2.1 Regional Economy The performance of the West Midlands economy has historically lagged behind many other regions. Analysis within the West Midlands Economic Strategy2, suggests there is a £10 billion ‘output gap’ in the region (compared to what Gross Value Added (GVA)3 would be in the region if it produced wealth at the current national average per head of population) The latest data on GVA per head, GVA per employee, employment rates and earnings shows that the region continues to lag behind the national average. While the number of people in employment in the region increased by 3% between 2001 and 2006 this was the third slowest growth in England. A worsening economic climate, moreover, means that improvements over the next few years are likely to continue to be challenging. A recent regional publication4 noted that the twin impacts of tighter credit conditions and increases in global commodity prices mean we can expect difficult times for the UK economy in the coming months. This will affect each region in different ways in line with their differing economies. The West Midlands and other regional economies will need to prepare themselves for a more challenging economic climate. With national commentators and the government acknowledging that the country is now entering a recession, there will undoubtedly be an impact on the West Midlands economy and this will have specific implications for education and training. In particular, it will be important that employers continue to invest in training and offer Apprenticeships and are supported to do so through the tougher economic times. Over the last 5 years or so there has been a significant shift in the balance of employment from manufacturing to services in the West Midlands. There has been significant new job creation in private sector services such as business and 1 West Midlands Skills Assessment, WMRO, November 2007 (update published November 2008) 2 Connecting to success West Midlands Economic Strategy 3 GVA measures the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the United Kingdom 4 The West Midlands Economy – changing economic circumstances. AWM, HM treasury, BERR 16
    • professional services, retail and hotels and catering and in public sector services such as health and social care, education and public administration. However, this has been offset by the shedding of jobs in sectors that have historically dominated the regional economy such as engineering (and in motor vehicles and mechanical and electrical engineering in particular) and in other manufacturing industries such as ceramics, clothing and textiles. The shift in the balance of demand for labour from manufacturing to services is set to continue over the coming decade. As mentioned the current economic downturn, the unprecedented turbulence in global financial markets and looming recession have created an uncertain picture for the economy over the next few years. Looking over the longer term, economic forecasts5 show employment Levels in the region are likely to grow over the next decade. Just over 100,000 new jobs in region are forecast by 2017, along with more than a million due to ‘replacement demand’ created by retirements, job moves and other ‘turnover’ effects. Chart A: Employment Change 2007 to 2017 by Occupation Managers and Senior Officials Professional occupations Associate Professional and Technical Administrative and Secretarial Skilled Trades Occupations Personal Service Occupations Sales and Customer Service Occupations Machine and Transport Operatives Net New Jobs Replacement Demands Elementary Occupations -50 0 50 100 150 200 250 Employment Change (000s) Source: Working Future III In terms of the net new jobs forecast to be created between 2007 and 2017 more than half are expected to be in higher skilled managerial, professional, associate professional and technical occupations, whilst a net decline is forecast in operative and unskilled ‘elementary’ jobs as well as some skilled trade occupations and administrative and secretarial jobs. When factors of replacement demand are taken into consideration however, it is clear that there will be demand for labour at every occupational Level. 5 Working Futures III, IER 17
    • At a sectoral Level, the focus for employment growth is expected to be in business and professional services, health and social care, wholesale and retail distribution and hotels and catering. Further job shedding meanwhile, is expected in engineering, other manufacturing, and agriculture, but again with replacement demand ensuring a requirement for labour in those sectors over the next decade or so. 2.2 Overall Skills Performance It is notable that, despite the relatively modest improvement in the region’s economic performance in recent years the Regional Skills Partnership Skills Performance Index, which is a summary measure based on a range of indicators of employers’ and individuals’ investment in skills, has shown a strong upward trend closing the gap with the national average as follows: • In 2003, there was a 6 percentage point gap between skills performance in the West Midlands and England. • By 2005, this gap had narrowed to 4 percentage points and closed further to less than 1 percentage point in 2007. • While the performance of the West Midlands was the worst in England in 2005, by 2007 the region had moved up to 6th in the regional performance table. Chart B: Skills Performance Index Overall Skills Performance Index: Regional Comparison 2007 England Average London South East South West North East North West West Midlands East Yorkshire & Humber East Midlands 30 40 50 60 70 Overall Skills Index Source: WMRO West Midlands Regional Observatory 2008 The rise has been mostly driven by demand side improvements, with more employers investing in training and fewer feeling that their staff had skill gaps. At the same time increasing numbers of individuals are taking the initiative and acquiring new skills and qualifications and there has been a sharp fall in the incidence of skill shortages. 18
    • 2.3 Qualification Attainment Young People Section 3.1 provides detailed insight into the attainment of young people in the region. In terms of those achieving a Level 2 by the age qualification 19, the West Midlands has improved by five percentage points since 2004/05 to stand at 72% in 2006/07, which is below the national average of 74%. The proportion of those achieving a Level 3 or above has also increased from 43% to 46% in 2006/07, but also remains below the national average of 48%. Adults The proportion of adults acquiring qualifications is also improving; however performance in the West Midlands continues to compare relatively poorly with other regions. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2007 quarter 4, the region still had the highest proportion of those with no qualifications in the country, but was ranked 8th out of the 9 regions for those with a Level 2 and above, 7th for those with a Level 3 and above and 6th for those with a Level 4 and above. At a local authority Level, low Levels of qualification attainment tend to be concentrated in some of the region’s urban centres (23% in Stoke-on-Trent had no formal qualifications in 2007 and the figure was 25% in Walsall, 26% in Sandwell and some 30% in Wolverhampton). Table 1: Working Age (19-59/64) Qualification Levels (%) No Level 4+ Level 3+ Level 2+ Qualifications Birmingham and Solihull 27% 46% 64% 18% Birmingham 27% 44% 63% 19% Solihull 32% 53% 69% 13% Coventry and Warwickshire 31% 52% 72% 12% Coventry 26% 47% 65% 16% Warwickshire 33% 54% 76% 9% Hereford. and Worcs. 30% 50% 71% 12% Herefordshire 30% 51% 70% 13% Worcestershire 30% 50% 71% 11% Shropshire 30% 49% 71% 12% Shropshire 35% 52% 72% 11% Telford And Wrekin 24% 44% 69% 12% Staffordshire 25% 43% 64% 17% Staffordshire 28% 45% 66% 15% Stoke-On-Trent 17% 35% 58% 23% The Black Country 19% 35% 57% 24% Dudley 22% 42% 65% 17% Sandwell 15% 29% 52% 26% Walsall 18% 36% 56% 25% Wolverhampton 20% 34% 54% 30% West Midlands 26% 45% 65% 17% England 30% 49% 69% 12% Source: ONS, Annual Population Survey 2007 Qualification Levels tend to be lower for certain groups, among older people (24% for the over 50s have no qualification) and minority ethnic communities (25% for Asian and 29% for ‘other’ minority groups have no qualifications). 19
    • It is clear that qualifications Levels have an impact on an individual’s labour market participation and opportunities; the employment rate for those with no qualifications is 47% in the West Midlands compared to regional average of 73%. Qualification Levels vary by sector, other manufacturing, wholesale and retail and transport have the highest proportions without a Level 2 within their workforce. In terms of the share of those in work without a Level 2, 17% work within wholesale and retail with business and professional services, engineering, other manufacturing and transport, each accounting for 11% of those without a Level 2 or above qualification. Chart C: Qualification Levels of the workforce by sector – those without a Level 2 other Manufacturing Wholesale and Retail Transport Agriculture etc Miscellaneous services Engineering Hotels and restaurants Construction Business and professional services Education Electricty, gas and water Health and social work % share of the whole workforce in the West Midlands without a level 2 or above Public administration % without level 2 or above in the sector ICT and Telecommunications 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Source: ONS, LFS Oct-Dec 2007 Improving qualification Levels remains a key challenge highlighted in the Regional Skills Action Plan. Research undertaken6 to understand the challenges of meeting the Leitch ambitions within the region reveals that nearly 2,000 more young people need to achieve 5 or more GCSEs at A*-C each year and more than 100,000 working age adults with no qualifications need to be supported in participating in education and training in order to close the gap with the national average. 6 Leitch Research - Meeting the Leitch targets, WMRO, 2008 20
    • 2.4 Employer Skills Issues The National Employer Skills Survey 2007 was commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in partnership with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA), to provide detailed information on the incidence, extent and nature of skills problems facing employers in England. It also explores current employer engagement activities and expenditure in relation to training. The survey involved over 79,000 telephone interviews with employers, undertaken from April to July 2007, with just over 8,000 conducted in the West Midlands. This section provides a summary of some of the key findings from NESS for the region. Vacancies, Recruitment and Skills Shortages Recruitment difficulties and skills related difficulties continue to affect a small, but persistent minority of employers. In 2007, 6% of employers in the West Midlands had hard-to-fill vacancies and 3% of employers attributed recruitment problems, to applicants lacking the skills sought. Skills shortage vacancies are notably above average in agriculture, engineering and manufacturing, construction and ICT. Skill shortages among applicants are also more prevalent in some occupations than others; in particular they are above average in skilled trades, personal service positions and professional occupations . Chart D: Skills shortages by sector in the West Midlands The proportion of vacancies which are unprompted skills shortage vacancies West Midlands Average Agriculture etc. Engineering Other manufacturing Electricity, gas and water Construction Wholesale and retail Hotels and restaurants Transport Business and professional services ICT and telecoms Public administration Education Health and social work Miscellaneous services 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Source: NESS 2007 21
    • Skills Gaps Overall, fewer employers in the West Midlands describe any of their staff as lacking proficiency in 2007 (5%) than did so in 2003. In 2003, almost a quarter of employers (24 %) had some staff that were not fully proficient. In 2007 this had fallen to 14%. Skills gaps as a proportion of all staff employed are higher in engineering, manufacturing, wholesale and retail and hotels and restaurants. Chart E: Skills gaps by sector in the West Midlands The proportion of staff not fully proficient West Midlands Average Agriculture etc. Engineering Other manufacturing Electricity, gas and water Construction Wholesale and retail Hotels and restaurants Transport Business and professional services ICT and telecoms Public administration Education Health and social work Miscellaneous services 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% Source: NESS 2007 As in previous years, lack of experience of staff being recently recruited remains by far the most commonly cited cause of skill gaps – with 68% being attributed to this cause. The second most common cause of skill gaps in the West Midlands, is staff lacking motivation (28%). Failure to train and develop staff, the inability of workforce to keep up with change, high staff turnover and recruitment problems were the next four most common causes of skill gaps. Training and Workforce Development Just under two-thirds (65%) of West Midlands employers had arranged or funded any training or development for any of their workforce in the previous 12 months, an increase of 5% since 2005. Despite this increase, the proportion of employers providing training remains below the national average. Employers in the West Midlands spent £3.7 billion on training in the 12 months prior to being surveyed, in comparison to £2.8 billion in 2005. The West Midlands accounts for just over 9% of national training expenditure, which shows only a slight increase on the NESS 2005 figure. The average annual employer investment in training is equivalent to £1,575 per employee in the workforce (up from £1,224 in 2005) and £2,450 per person trained (up from £2,215 in 2005). 22
    • The likelihood of training varied very widely by sector. Nine out of every ten employers in education provided training (92%). The figure is also high for public administration (87%), health and social work (85%) and electricity, gas and water (84%). Conversely, just over half of employers (52%) in agriculture provided training, with the figure also low for other manufacturing (58%) and construction (56%). Apprenticeships Overall 12% of employers in the region had staff on apprenticeships within the last 12 months, inline with the national average according to NESS 07. Employers most likely to offer training via Apprenticeship Frameworks were in education, engineering and construction. Table x.x highlights some of the reasons why employers in the West Midlands offer or do not offer apprenticeships. Table 2: Reasons for and against offering apprenticeships Reasons why employers offer apprenticeships Reasons for not offering apprenticeships We can train them in our way of doing things All staff fully trained (21%) (33%) Not relevant / applicable to our business Training the workforce of the future (27%) (12%) We find it difficult to recruit staff with the skills Our business is too small (10%) we need (17%) We don’t (the job doesn’t) require staff to be It’s the way I trained / got an opportunity highly skilled (9%) (12%) We prefer to recruit fully-trained / fully- Don’t know / no particular reasons (9%) qualified recruits (7%) Helpful in recruiting staff / makes us more We don’t take on young people (6%) attractive to potential recruits (8%) No apprenticeships available for our industry Need young workers in an ageing workforce / sector / specialism (4%) (7%) Not worth my time for the money we get It’s the best way to learn (5%) (4%) To give young people a start (4%) No vacancies / not taking on new staff (3%) Gives us free / cheap trial of staff (3%) Don’t know enough about them / what we’d It is mutually beneficial to both us and the have to do (3%) apprentice (3%) We prefer to train in-house (3%) I get funding if I offer them (2%) Financial constraints / training is too expensive (3%) Lack of resources / facilities (2%) No young people have applied (2%) Source: NESS 2007 23
    • 2.5 Demographic Changes and the Supply of Skills It will be important for employers, skills providers and other regional partners to respond to the significant changes in the region’s demographic profile that are taking place, which are having a significant impact on the available supply of labour and skills. The region’s working age population is ageing, especially in rural areas. Meanwhile, in many of the region’s urban areas the population is becoming younger and more ethnically diverse. Chart F: Net change in the working age population of the West Midlands between 2006 and 2031 80 70 60 50 40 thousands 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 ONS 2006 Mid-year population estimates As a result the profile of the workforce in key sectors of the regional economy varies significantly by age and ethnicity, with significant implications for the likely future supply of labour and skills: • Both the hotels and catering and wholesale and retail sectors have a predominantly young workforce in 2006 (Labour Force Survey). As in many parts of the region the population is ageing it will be important for employers to widen their recruitment to include older people. While many retire early a significant number have done so involuntarily and represent a valuable, hitherto under-valued source of labour and skills. • Conversely a number of sectors, notably education, public administration, health and social work and engineering have an ageing workforce with a significant percentage of staff aged 45+. Many are set to retire in the next few years, taking their skills and experience with them and appropriate recruitment, training and succession planning policies will be vital. • While the hotels and catering, transport, health and social work sectors employ a particularly significant percentage of people from minority ethnic groups the percentage is much lower in sectors such as education and construction. Changing demographics, particularly in urban areas, mean that employers will need to increasingly target them in their recruitment if they are to meet their future employment needs. 24
    • Older Workers Acknowledging this changing demographic profile, the LSC in the West Midlands commissioned research to better understand labour market and training experiences of older workers. Key findings include: • Older workers expressed a variety of incentives and motivations to employment and an even wider variety of barriers to employment or career development displaying the heterogeneity of this group. • The main motivation underpinning respondents’ requirement for work was the need for money or financial security. However, a number of other motivations for work were expressed by respondents including: boredom; socialising; a sense of purpose; progression; suitable hours; stress reduction (for some less demanding jobs). • Many of the older worker respondents, both employed and unemployed, were doubtful as to the efficacy of anti-age discrimination policies and the law relating to recruitment. • Many of the advantages of employing older workers listed by employers matched those mentioned by older workers themselves. Advantages of older workers perceived by employers included: personal qualities, such as loyalty, experience and reliability; existing skills including communication and time management skills; and practical advantages such as retention, less training, fewer family and childcare commitments. • In terms of practice related to anti-age discrimination legislation and policies, just over a quarter of employers said that the legislation had not made an impact ‘on the ground’. In some cases, this was because they believed they already had good practice in place, in others they were rather vague about the implications of the anti-age discrimination law. • Insofar as the current research has located a hidden or latent pool of skills among older workers, beyond the unemployed, there are many who consider voluntary work post-retirement. However, luring this cohort back into the paid workforce presents conundra: first it may render the Voluntary sector short of skills and labour; second, this group may have chosen voluntary work over paid work so may not present themselves available for paid work. • A variety of motivations for training were put forward by older worker respondents. Perceived barriers to training and learning including: employer attitudes, cost, time and transport (in rural areas). Barriers to training older workers mentioned by employers were similar: older workers’ attitudes, time and cost. • It is one of the main findings of this research, that there was low awareness and little or no experience of careers information, advice and guidance (IAG) for adults across all groups of older workers. • While awareness and experience of IAG was low, members of several groups expressed a need for the services that IAG can provide, including advice and support with interview technique, help with CVs and careers guidance. • A variety of sources of IAG were suggested by respondents. learndirect was mentioned by only one respondent in this context, and nextstep by no-one. The Job Centre was mentioned by several respondents across different groups, both those who were working and workless. However, perceptions of Job Centres were generally negative, especially by older workers who were unemployed. 25
    • Migrant Workers The growth in the size of the region’s minority ethnic communities has been given further impetus by the significant influx of migrant workers into the region in recent years, principally from Poland and other eastern European countries and from India, the Philippines, China, South Africa and Zimbabwe7. The increase in migrant workers numbers have been stark in rural areas, particularly areas in the south of the region such as Herefordshire and Stratford. Migrant workers tend to be employed in sectors where labour demand is buoyant, notably agriculture, hotels and restaurants, manufacturing generally (and food processing industries in particular), transport and health services. Common occupations are nurses and other healthcare related occupations, chefs and lower skilled occupations such as process operatives in factories, farm workers, warehouse operatives and packers. A significant proportion of migrants taking jobs in the UK substantially below their skills and qualification Levels. Poor English skills and problems with getting qualification recognised in the UK were the main reasons cited for this. Whilst the latest data shows the West Midlands continues to be a key centre for European migration in terms of National Insurance Registrations, there is little data on the number of migrants who have left the UK to return to work in their origin country. National research published by IPPR8 included a survey of Polish migrants who had returned to Poland after a spell in the UK. Key findings mentioned that although around 1 million A8 migrant workers have arrived in the UK since 2004, significantly, it estimated that around half of these have already left the UK and that there were signs that A8 migration to the UK had begun to slow. 7 The Economic Impact of Migrant Workers on the West Midlands, IER 2007 8 Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) – Floodgates or Turnstiles? Post-EU Enlargement Migration Flows to (and from) the UK, April 2008 26
    • 2.6 Trends in Labour Market Participation This section seeks to give an overview of the key patterns in labour market participation within the West Midlands region, both in terms of the geographic distribution of labour market participation and marginalisation as well as how certain groups are affected. The way in which learning can have an impact on job seekers allowance claimants is also examined. 2.6.1 Deprivation The map below shows that there is a distinct pattern in the concentrations of deprivation in West Midlands. Large parts of local authority districts, particularly in the urban centres, fall within the 10% most deprived nationally. It is also worth noting the pockets of deprivation within the Shire counties. Map 1 Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2007 The Indices of Deprivation looks at a range of measures including education and skills indicators. Areas of deprivation remain a challenge for Integrated Employment and Skills activity. Marginalisation from the labour market is often interwoven with far ranging issues of multi-deprivation. 27
    • 2.6.2 Worklessness The impact of the current economic downturn is starting to be shown in official statistics. Using the seasonally adjusted job seeker allowance claimant rate, the West Midlands has seen a rise from 2.9% in January 2008 to 3.3% in September 2008, mirroring the national rise from 2.1% to 2.5% over the same period. Chart G: Proportion of resident working age population claiming Job Seekers Allowance, West Midlands and England 4.5 Englands 4.0 West Midlands 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Mar-99 Mar-00 Mar-01 Mar-02 Mar-03 Mar-04 Mar-05 Mar-06 Mar-07 Mar-08 Sep-98 Sep-99 Sep-00 Sep-01 Sep-02 Sep-03 Sep-04 Sep-05 Sep-06 Sep-07 Sep-08 Source: ONS, Seasonally Adjusted Claimant Count (September 1998 to September 2008) The region’s employment rate fell by almost a full percentage point from 73.7% in 2002 to 72.9% in 2007. By contrast the rate for England as a whole at 74.3% has remained fairly flat over this period and in some regions there has been a rise. Table 3 Working age Population (19-59/64) Employment Status ILO Total working In employment unemployed* Inactive age population Birmingham 66% 6% 28% 596,080 Solihull 76% 3% 21% 118,625 Dudley 75% 3% 22% 183,756 Sandwell 67% 5% 28% 167,270 Walsall 71% 6% 23% 146,648 Wolverhampton 67% 6% 28% 140,371 Coventry 74% 4% 22% 189,978 Warwickshire 79% 3% 17% 316,139 Herefordshire 78% 2% 20% 101,073 Worcestershire 78% 3% 19% 333,348 Shropshire 77% 2% 21% 165,898 Telford and Wrekin 73% 4% 23% 99,060 Staffordshire 77% 3% 20% 498,600 Stoke-on-Trent 70% 4% 26% 145,934 West Midlands 73% 4% 23% 3,202,780 Source: APS 2007 *ILO (International Labour Organisation) definition of unemployment 28
    • It is particularly notable that employment rates are low in Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton. This suggests that a significant proportion of local people are highly marginalised in the labour market. Indeed in all of these areas many wards are among the most deprived 10% nationally. Employment rates are also lower among older people (a rate of 66% for the over 50s compares with 80% for 30-49 year olds) and people from minority ethnic communities (the rate is just 45% for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi community, 52% for other ethnic communities and 56% for Black African and Black other communities. The economically inactive group will cover a range of individuals including carers and full time students. A growing proportion of the group are those in receipt of ill health and income related benefits. In February 2008 there were just over 51,000 people in the region claiming Incapacity Benefit (IB) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA), this equates to 1.6% of the resident working age population which is slightly above the national average of 1.3%. The graph below shows that the receipt of these benefits is particularly high for older age groups. Chart H: Benefit Claimants (IB and DLA) by age, West Midlands 9,000 Male Female 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 aged under 25 aged 25-34 aged 35-44 aged 45-54 aged 55-59 aged 60-64 Source: ONS, DWP benefit claimants, February 2008 29
    • 2.6.3 Learning and Employability The LSC seeks to understand the effect that completing an LSC funded qualification has on an individual’s employment prospects and hence the return on investment for the economy, as well as effects upon ‘softer’ skills and outcomes. To this end the main aim of some research completed this year, was to understand what links and impact there may be on the employability of individuals living in the West Midlands City Region having undertaken an FE course. This research focused on learners who were not in employment at the start of the course and specifically those claiming income-related benefits and Jobseeker’s Allowance. Encouragingly the key findings in the West Midlands City Region showed evidence of the positive contribution learning can have on labour market opportunities: • There was a marked drop in the proportion of learners who were receiving workless benefits after their course; while 90% were in receipt of benefits before the course, only 49% were claiming after it had ended. • Slightly more learners, 41% in the West Midlands City Region, moved off benefits after learning compared to 38 % nationally. Furthermore, a higher proportion of learners in the West Midlands City Region moved from benefits and into work after the end of their course than those in the national survey. • The proportion of learners who moved into work after completing their course was the same as in the national survey • A higher proportion of learners in the West Midlands City Region felt learning had improved their job outcome and enabled them to enter a job with more responsibilities and to gain a better paid job than in the national survey. 2.6.4 Low Level skills As mentioned in section 2.3 qualification Levels in the region as a whole are lower than national averages. Attainment of a Level 2 qualification is increasingly viewed as a required Level for basic employability. Attainment of Level 2 qualifications is particularly low in urban centers, particularly the City Region. These low Levels of participation in employment and learning by some groups and communities in the region reflect a range of interconnected issues and barriers. Research conducted by the West Midlands Regional Observatory (WMRO) in collaboration with Jobcentre Plus focusing on the young unemployed, unemployed and low paid adults, specific minority ethnic groups such as Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Black Caribbean, older people, people with a disability, migrants and refugees, explores these and identifies practical action that could be taken to address them, for example: • There is a need for improved access to information, advice and guidance – many of those consulted had no idea where to go for help and relied principally on friends, family and the internet. • There is a need to more effectively link learning to employment opportunities – which was identified by many as a key ‘trigger’ to increased participation. • The third sector has a key role to play in providing a link for people with a mistrust of institutions or poor experiences of learning and work and in breaking down barriers through the provision of flexible, low cost, local and culturally-sensitive learning. 30
    • 2.6.5 Graduate Retention and Higher Level Skills Across the region 26% of the working population have a Level 4 qualification or above, this is below the England average of 30%. The West Midlands has an under- developed private sector ‘knowledge economy’ and, although the situation is improving year on year, the region still performs poorly in terms of the recruitment and deployment of highly skilled ‘knowledge workers’. The low Level of demand for higher Level skills has a significant impact on graduate retention. A significant proportion leave the region to secure their first job, notably those with a desire to work in better paid, higher skilled and higher value added sectors of the economy. Nevertheless there may be additional potential demand for graduate and higher Level skills in the region with survey evidence suggesting that significant numbers of businesses are of the view that graduate and other higher Level skills could be critical to future business success. There remains a perception among many, however, that some graduates lack both the industry-specific and softer ‘employability’ skills they require. If efforts to unlock the potential demand for higher Level skills are successful it will be important to ensure that sufficient graduates are retained and attracted to the region to meet it. To this end it will be important to promote a positive image of the region as a place to live and work. Currently graduates’ perceptions of the West Midlands as a place to live and work are highly polarised, however, with those who have elected to remain here after completing their studies very positive views but those that have left to work elsewhere much more negative. It may be, however, that these perceptions are becoming increasingly outdated as initiatives to regenerate the region begin to have an impact. Indeed a high proportion of those that return now have very positive perceptions of the region. 2.7 Sector Analysis 2.7.2 UK Vocational Qualifications Reform programme (UKVQRP) The UK VQRP is a programme of work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that is intended to reform adult vocational qualifications across the UK. The key objectives of the programme are to: 1. Reform and rationalise sector qualifications so that they reflect employer and learner needs, providing recognised and valued Levels of skills both across sectors. 2. Develop a unit-based qualification framework which is underpinned by credits, that allow credit accumulation and transfer. This framework is known as the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is leading on this work in partnership with regulators in Wales and Northern Ireland. 3. Establish in England, Wales and Northern Ireland planning, funding and delivery arrangements to support delivery. 2.7.3 Sector Qualification Strategies Vital to the success of the UKVQRP will be accurate information about sector specific skills needs and the availability of appropriate qualifications for learners. It will be the role of the Sector Skills Councils to provide this intelligence and to develop Sector Qualification Strategies for their industrial footprint. Sector Qualifications Strategies (SQS) outline the current and future learning and qualifications needs of employers in 31
    • sectors. The Skills for Business network is responsible for developing SQSs as part of the Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs) process. Through SSAs, Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) identify the skills needs of sectors, analyse the current provision and agree interventions with key partners to improve the match between education and training supply and employment needs. The SQSs will be used by the qualifications regulatory authorities of the four home nations and SSCs to influence awarding body provision. The aim of each SQS is to: • Identify key drivers for sector development in relation to qualifications and other learning provision; • Evaluate how well existing qualifications and other learning provision meets sector needs (current and future); • Make proposals for any changes required, including a plan for development and implementation; • Bring coherence and shared direction to ongoing development work; • Provide a sound basis for future development and decision-making in each broad sector; 2.7.4 Sector Demand (Sector Intelligence Sheets) As part of our approach to the Strategic Analysis in the West Midlands, the regional Skills Team, in conjunction with the Policy and Planning team carried out a full analysis of our key sectors in the region to identify sector demand. A summary of the findings from the sector analysis will be shown in Annex A in the form of Sector Intelligence Sheets Appendix 1 – Business and Professional Services Appendix 2 – Construction Appendix 3 – Creative and Media Appendix 4 – Health, Care and Children’s Workforce Appendix 5 – ICT and Telecommunications Appendix 6 – Justice Appendix 7 – Land Based Appendix 8 – Lifelong Learning Appendix 9 – Manufacturing Appendix 10 – Retail Appendix 11 – Tourism and Leisure Appendix 12 – Transport 2.8 Implications for Education, Training and Skills Delivery • Whilst the region and the country is facing a challenging economic climate over the next few years, there will be a continued shift towards demand for higher Level skills as the structure of the regional economy changes. Replacement demands are significant across all occupational areas, but in terms of total requirement for labour (employment growth + replacement) by 2017 the top three occupational areas (managers, professionals and associate professionals/technical) show the highest demand Levels. 32
    • • Further investment in skills by employers is required, especially in sectors such as agriculture, engineering, other manufacturing and construction, wholesale and retail, hotels and catering and health and social care where skill gaps and shortages remain a significant problem. • If employers are to meet their labour and skill needs in the future they also need to widen their recruitment to include groups accounting for a growing share of the region’s working age population such as older people and people from minority ethnic groups. • Building on activity already taking place, more action is needed to unlock the potential demand for higher Level skills to boost business growth and competitiveness • Significant progress has been made in raising the qualification attainment Levels amongst the working age population, with increasing proportions with a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification. However, while accounting for a growing share of the region’s working age population the regions disadvantaged groups and communities perform poorly relative to regional and national trends in terms of participation in education and training, qualification attainment and accessing employment. • There is a need to focus attention on those groups marginalised from the labour market through activities such as Integrated Employment and Skills. Otherwise there is a danger they may lag further behind in the future, with those who are already relatively well qualified continuing to be the most likely to invest in their skills and qualification Levels. 33
    • 3 Provision Analysis 3.1 Young People (14-19) This section provides the latest data for LSC funded provision for Young People, providing both cohort analysis and FE and Work Based Learning information. Much of the data and charts utilise the latest F04 return for 2007/08. This data will be updated in February 2009 with a final F05 return. 3.1.1 The National Context Chart I: Participation in education and training in England 2001-2008 Participation in education and training 2001-2008 (source: DCSF SFR June 2008) 16 17 100 18 16-18 90 80 70 60 50 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 Since 2001 the participation in education and training in England has continued to rise across all ages and across a variety of provision types; from just under 70% for 16-18s in 2001 to 75% in the 2007/08 academic year. Most notably the forecast increases in participation continue to see a rapid advancement towards ‘full’ participation between 2013 (for 17 year olds) and 2015 (for 18 year olds). At times of economic slow-down and uncertainty in the jobs market the number of Young People expected to be engaged in Education and Training will potentially rise inline with the degree of economic instability. The potential for increased participation arises from those young people currently in job without training. In particular 10% of 17 years currently are in jobs without training (many of whom where engaged at 16 and moved on from one-year courses and AS Levels; with the new focus, through the September Guarantee and the 2013 entitlement, on this age group, there is potential for added pressure on forecast youth budgets. 34
    • Chart J: Participation in education and training in England 2007-2001 Participation in education and training 2007-2011 (source: LSC youth m odel) 16 17 100 18 16-18 90 80 70 60 50 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 Planned participation numbers for the 2008/09 academic year currently exceed those forecast through the Comprehensive Spending Review. Should these learner numbers be realised, future forecasts funding (as outlined in the charts above) provide a challenging for partners to be responsive to learner choice. Overall growth in 16-18 (and ultimately 14-19) participation is predicated on a falling cohort (as indicated below). The 2008/09 academic year sees the peak in the 16-18 population, followed by a steep decline towards 2013 and a further decline towards 2015. Chart K: 16-18 Cohort size 2,020,000 2,000,000 1,980,000 1,960,000 1,940,000 1,920,000 1,900,000 1,880,000 1,860,000 1,840,000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Year Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 35
    • Chart L: Projected Youth Budgets 2008/09-2010/11 16-18 costs 2008-09 - 2010-11 5,000 Further Education Apprenticeships 4,500 Entry to Employment/FLT School sixth forms (incl academies) 4,000 3,500 3,000 Cost (£mil) 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 Two key considerations in the balance between raising participation and falling cohorts will be the notion of displacement and national funding priorities: Displacement: In recent years there has been a significant increase in Capital Builds in both the Further Education Estate as well as in Schools (including Academies). Taken together with the notion of School Sixth Form Presumptions and Competitions; the potential for increased travel to learn is evident between local authorities and within local authorities boundaries. National funding priorities: The above chart indicates modest increases across a range of provision types. However policy drivers like the entitlement for every young person to have access to an Apprenticeship With the potential, through the National Apprenticeship Service, of 1 in 5 young people accessing an Apprenticeship by their 18th birthday (currently this is closer to 1 in 13 young people) The continued rollout of Diplomas (at all Levels) across 14 and then 17 curriculum lines (the proportion of the youth budget for which will rise from £39m in 2008/09 to £234m in 2009/10 and £720m in 2010/11) The implementation of Progression Pathways within the Foundation Learning Tier, with its focus on pre-Level 2 attainment and NEET engagement (accounting for 30% of pre-Level 2 learning in 2009/10 and an assumed 100% in 2010/11) and the role of the Joint Advisory Committee on Qualification Approval (JACQA) on which qualifications the ‘public purse’ will continue to fund – will impact upon choices partners, institutions and young people will and need to make. 36
    • Chart M: Project numbers of young people in learning in England 16-18 participation 2007/08 - 2010/11 1,000,000 Further Education Apprenticeships 900,000 Entry to Employment/FLT School sixth forms (incl academies) 800,000 700,000 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 Chart N: Unit Costs per Young Person Learning in England Unit costs increases on full- and part-time 16-18 education (excluding rates i ncreases. Projected for 2008/09 onwards) 7.0% full-time part-time 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 Forecasts relating to funding are predicated on numbers in-learning, not on an increasing breadth of curriculum. The above chart indicates a rise in the costs per learners, which will, if left unchecked, provide added difficulty in achieving targets. The quality assurance of additional qualifications to underscore value for money will be critical. Emphasis on English and Maths at Level 2 as first priorities for additional activity/qualifications (see section 3.1.6); alongside the delivery of priorities and qualifications arising Sector Qualification Strategies, the UK Vocational Qualification Reform Programme and the qualification approval and funding remit of JACQA. 37
    • This balance takes on increased importance when linked to improved success factors (Success Rates and Retention). Improvements here, at an institution Level, will serve to potentially increase that institution’s Provider Factor (part of the funding demand-led funding methodology) and therefore the Level of funding available to that institution. 3.1.2 West Midlands Future Cohorts / Participation Chart O: West Midlands Future Cohorts (16-18) – (Based on 2008 Cohort) 225000 220000 215000 210000 205000 200000 195000 190000 02 04 06 08 10 12 14 16 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 Year Source: DCSF, SFR 2008 Table 4: Future Cohorts, by Local Authority (16-18) – (Based on 2008 Cohort) 16-18 16-18 16-18 16-18 16-18 16-18 Change Cohort Cohort Cohort Cohort Cohort Cohort 2008 to 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 Birmingham 44,228 41,929 40,462 39,746 39,468 39,619 -4,609 Solihull 8,653 8,718 8,593 8,387 8,341 8,253 -400 Dudley 12,205 12,212 12,007 11,723 11,568 11,338 -867 Walsall 10,384 10,487 10,401 10,151 10,110 10,015 -369 Wolverhampton 9,568 9,547 9,268 8,896 8,561 8,465 -1,103 Sandwell 11,934 11,937 11,624 11,136 10,923 10,916 -1,018 Coventry 13,010 11,759 11,428 11,120 11,029 10,924 -2,086 Warwickshire 20,444 20,327 19,681 19,316 19,341 19,380 -1,064 Herefordshire 6,847 6,992 6,831 6,694 6,579 6,459 -388 Worcestershire 21,706 21,737 21,090 20,673 20,401 20,362 -1,344 Shropshire 12,400 12,079 11,483 11,080 11,004 10,843 -1,557 Telford and Wrekin 6,942 6,922 6,782 6,652 6,536 6,533 -409 Staffordshire 32,379 32,343 31,511 30,699 30,213 30,079 -2,300 Stoke –on- Trent 9,565 9,090 8,607 8,333 8,066 8,099 -1,466 West Midlands 220,265 216,079 209,768 204,606 202,140 201,285 -18,980 Source: DCSF, ONS Sub National Population Projections 2006 38
    • The West Midlands, like other English regions, will see a decline in cohorts numbers 14-16 and 16-19 from 2008 onwards. Comparing the West Midlands to the rest of England, the population fall, though not as steep initially, does decline further after 2013 and quite sharply at 2015. Proportions per local authority area vary with an average reduction of approximately 10% to 2013. Participation in the same period will similarly need to rise by 10%, particularly among 17 years olds, to move towards 100% by 2015. When combined with travel-to-learn patterns, and other push and pull factors, like those outlined previously, the impact on institutions within particularly localities, will be greater than the natural decline in those leaving in their expected catchment area. Table 4.1: Participation (%) in Education for 16 and 17 year olds. Full-time education Area Maintained Independent Sixth form Other Sub Part-time 4 schools1 schools2 college FE3 WBL Total Total education Birmingham 24 3 9 33 70 6 6 81 Solihull 14 9 24 24 71 6 4 81 Dudley 8 1 13 46 66 8 4 78 Sandwell 22 2 3 41 68 8 5 80 Walsall 38 2 0 27 67 8 5 80 Wolverhampton 40 7 1 27 75 7 6 88 Coventry 35 6 0 30 71 8 6 85 Warwickshire 27 7 7 31 71 7 7 85 Herefordshire 10 4 31 26 71 9 4 84 Worcestershire 29 10 10 27 76 5 4 86 Shropshire 14 12 21 25 72 7 4 83 Telford and Wrekin 9 7 20 28 64 8 4 77 Staffordshire 34 3 2 32 70 8 5 83 Stoke-on-Trent 9 0 18 35 61 11 4 76 West Midlands 25 5 9 31 70 7 5 82 England 27 6 10 29 72 7 4 82 Source: DCSF 2007 (relates to 2006) 1 Includes all pupils in maintained schools and maintained special schools. 2 Includes all pupils in independent schools, non-maintained special schools, city technology colleges, academies and pupil referral units. 3 Includes all learners in General FE, tertiary and specialist colleges (e.g. agriculture colleges). 4 Total of all full-time and part-time education and WBL, less WBL provision in education institutions. The mix of provision type across the West Midlands remains relatively similar from area to area. Total participation, for the first time, is now on a par with the rest of England. Though the gap between the local authority with the highest participation rates and those with below average participation continues to reduce, there is still a huge task to sustain and increase participation towards 2013. It is worth noting the current Level of participation in work-based learning provision, which includes both Apprenticeships and Entry to Employment (E2E). The aspiration of almost trebling participation in this area by 2020 presents the opportunity to address information advice and guidance, provision and linkages to reducing NEET. 39
    • 3.1.3 NEET / September Guarantee / EET / EMA Chart P: Progress towards the PSA target of reducing the proportion of 16-17 year olds NEET by 2 percentage points by 2010. Source: DCSF NEET Statistics Progress towards the PSA target is measured through the Statistical First Release (SFR) published, by DCSF, each June. This year’s data has seen the highest ever participation rate and a 1% fall in NEET. Chart Q: NEET Data sources comparison Sources: Labour Force Survey (LFS); Statistical First Release (SFR); Connexions Client Caseload Information System (CCIS). 40
    • The data on NEET young people is complex and comes from a number of different sources. The SFR is the definitive national measure, and is an estimate produced by first subtracting the number of young people known to be in education and training from the total 16-18 population. This leaves the number of young people not in education or training (NET). Data from the Labour Force Survey is then used to estimate what proportion of the NET group is NEET. Despite differences in the way they are measured, the data sources mirror each other very closely; once a quarter, DCSF bring together all of these data sources into one single publication – the NEET Statistics Quarterly Brief. Table 5.2: Proportion of West Midlands 16-18 year olds NEET: 2007* 16-18 yr olds NEET [2][3] % of 16-18 year 16-18 year olds olds whose known to Estimated current activity is Area Connexions [1] number % not known Birmingham 36,292 2,780 7.7% 3.7% Solihull 8,846 530 6.0% 3.9% Dudley 13,096 730 5.6% 4.2% Sandwell 7,694 940 12.3% 7.8% Walsall 9,611 880 9.1% 6.2% Wolverhampton 8,724 810 9.3% 6.3% Coventry 11,157 760 6.8% 3.9% Warwickshire 17,532 1,020 5.8% 4.5% Herefordshire 5,416 290 5.4% 3.5% Worcestershire 16,876 780 4.6% 2.9% Shropshire 8,189 370 4.5% 2.3% Telford and Wrekin 5,814 560 9.7% 8.8% Staffordshire 18,626 1,080 5.8% 3.7% Stoke on Trent 5,834 780 13.3% 8.6% West Midlands 173,708 12,320 7.1% 4.5% Source: DCSF 2008 * 2007 data are an average of the figures provided by Connexions at the end of November 2007, December 2007 and January 2008. They include all young people known to Connexions who were aged 16, 17 or 18 on these dates [1] 16-18 year olds in education are counted in the area in which their education establishment is located (except those in HE) [2] 16-18 year olds known to be undertaking a Gap Year, or in custody, are not recorded by Connexions as NEET [3] The percentage and number NEET has been adjusted to assume that a proportion of young people whose current activity is not known are NEET The continued focus on those Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET) has seen numbers of young people recorded as being NEET reducing year on year. Coupled with the reduction in NEET, has been the effort in reducing the numbers of young people whose current activity is ‘not known’. The third strand of the overall NEET strategy sits with the ‘September Guarantee’. The emphasis on ensuring all 16 (and 17 year olds in 2008/09) have an offer of suitable learning has helped focus attention on those young people in schools who have yet to consider or been made an offer of post-16 learning. The efforts prior to young people officially leaving school mean that there are more likely to make a successful transition to post-16 education and training. 41
    • Table 5.1: Final 2007/08 September Guarantee for West Midlands 16 year olds Young people No offer made - completing Offer received to start Offer received. refused or not compulsory post 16 learning Due to start learning appropriate at this No offer made - Guarantee status education in before end Sept Oct - Dec time unable to contact No offer made not recorded 2007 110 % 120 % 130 % 140 % 150 % % England 622,352 549,889 88% 18,051 3% 32,965 5% 13,442 2% 8,005 1% - 0% West Midlands 71,699 60,253 84% 4,159 6% 4,432 6% 1,901 3% 954 1% - 0% Birmingham 12,605 10,433 83% 281 2% 468 4% 923 7% 500 4% - 0% Solihull 3,923 3,760 96% 14 0% 59 2% 34 1% 56 1% - 0% Birmingham & Solihull 16,528 14,193 86% 295 2% 527 3% 957 6% 556 3% - 0% Dudley 5,064 4,732 93% 27 1% 160 3% 104 2% 41 1% - 0% Sandwell 2,939 2,537 86% 54 2% 206 7% 97 3% 45 2% - 0% Walsall 4,144 3,727 90% 39 1% 161 4% 164 4% 53 1% - 0% Wolverhampton 3,092 2,737 89% 89 3% 108 3% 97 3% 61 2% - 0% Black Country 15,239 13,733 90% 209 1% 635 4% 462 3% 200 1% - 0% Coventry 4,265 3,920 92% 29 1% 260 6% 12 0% 44 1% - 0% Warwickshire 6,878 6,167 90% 17 0% 600 9% 30 0% 64 1% - 0% Coventry & Warwick 11,143 10,087 91% 46 0% 860 8% 42 0% 108 1% - 0% Herefordshire 2,129 1,932 91% 4 0% 182 9% 11 1% - 0% - 0% Worcestershire 6,617 6,100 92% 3 0% 466 7% 48 1% - 0% - 0% Hereford & Worcester 8,746 8,032 92% 7 0% 648 7% 59 1% - 0% - 0% Shropshire 3,590 482 13% 2,801 78% 254 7% 39 1% 14 0% - 0% The Wrekin 2,186 1,144 52% 705 32% 120 5% 216 10% 1 0% - 0% Shropshire Telford & Wrekin 5,776 1,626 28% 3,506 61% 374 6% 255 4% 15 0% - 0% Staffordshire 11,157 9,927 89% 64 1% 1,018 9% 102 1% 46 0% - 0% Stoke 3,110 2,655 85% 32 1% 370 12% 24 1% 29 1% - 0% Staffordshire 14,267 12,582 88% 96 1% 1,388 10% 126 1% 75 1% - 0% Source: NCCIS: January Census (posted 11/02/08) It should be noted that the above figures represent the original September Guarantee for 16 year olds only. All young people (aged 16) known to Connexions had their Guarantee Status recorded. It is worth noting this was the first year of recording the guarantee in this way and data anomalies did arise in certain areas. Indications for the 08/09 guarantee show continued improvement in offers made to between 90 and 98% of the cohort. 42
    • Table 5.2: West Midlands School Leaver Destinations Year 11 Activity Survey 2007 out of contact / Survey-TOTAL Employment no response Government In Learning Not Settled Supported education Full time Training Area Birmingham 86% 13,827 78% 6% 3% 8% 5% Solihull 89% 3,318 81% 5% 4% 7% 3% Dudley 86% 4,297 78% 5% 6% 8% 3% Sandwell 84% 4,009 75% 8% 5% 10% 2% Walsall 85% 3,996 76% 7% 5% 9% 3% Wolverhampton 87% 3,187 80% 6% 3% 9% 2% Coventry 94% 4,260 81% 8% 6% 5% 1% Warwickshire 93% 6,885 81% 5% 8% 5% 1% Herefordshire 92% 2,132 78% 7% 9% 6% 1% Worcestershire 92% 6,652 83% 4% 7% 4% 1% Shropshire 89% 3,541 80% 6% 8% 5% 1% The Wrekin 85% 2,324 77% 6% 4% 8% 5% Staffordshire 91% 11,228 79% 9% 5% 6% 1% Stoke 89% 3,049 73% 12% 5% 8% 1% West Midlands 89% 72,705 79% 7% 5% 7% 2% England 89% 636,046 80% 6% 6% 6% 2% Source: Connexions / NCCIS 2008 Though these figures look at the transition for 16 year olds, it is important to consider, linked to the September Guarantee and raising of the participation age how these figures change one year on for 17 year olds. Significantly participation falls to approximately 77.5%. The major reason for this is due to the increase in those in employment to more than double the tabled figures to 13%; of which 70% of those jobs are without training. Linkages can be made to course and institution choices pre-16, as well as curriculum options post-16 that result in young people leaving after one year, impacting upon NEET and overall participation. 43
    • Table 5.3: EMA statistics - Take up by end of September 2008 2007/08 EMA Take-up in Current EMA Take Up in Full Time Education by Full Time Education as % Take-up AREA TYPE AREA NAME end of September 2007 at 31/08/2008 for 2007/08 (Sept 08) LSC Herefordshire and Worcestershire 4550 7,013 64.88% LA Herefordshire 1244 1,813 68.62% LA Worcestershire 3306 5,200 63.58% LSC Shropshire 2441 4,113 59.35% LA Shropshire 1405 2,367 59.36% LA Telford and Wrekin 1036 1,746 59.34% LSC Staffordshire 6406 10,857 59.00% LA Staffordshire 4605 7,676 59.99% LA Stoke-on-Trent 1801 3,181 56.62% LSC Coventry and Warwickshire 4482 7,680 58.36% LA Coventry 2073 3,623 57.22% LA Warwickshire 2409 4,057 59.38% LSC Birmingham and Solihull 8248 17,721 46.54% LA Birmingham 7198 15,929 45.19% LA Solihull 1050 1,792 58.59% LSC The Black Country 7284 14,552 50.05% LA Dudley 2033 3384 60.08% LA Sandwell 2239 4515 49.59% LA Walsall 1630 3197 50.99% LA Wolverhampton 1,382 3456 39.99% Region West Midlands 33,411 61,936 53.94% National England 274,121 509,711 53.78% Source: LSC EMA Management Information - September 2008 EMA take-up in the West Midlands remains strong. Additional flexibilities for those young people undertaking Entry to Employment (E2E) or a Programme-Led Apprenticeship will impact on take-up figures as the initial roll-out to these work- based programmes (replacing the minimum training allowance (MTA) proved to have a negative impact on the recruitment learners due to the differences in how the MTA operated, the increase in administration compared to the MTA and the very different attendance patterns and lifestyles that, particularly vulnerable learns on E2E, have compared to those participating in school sixth form, sixth form college and for the most part general FE courses. During 2007/08, 78% of those accessing EMA where undertaking a Level 3 (A-Level or equivalent) qualifications. 77% of all applications received the full payment of £30 per week. It is expected the numbers of young people accesses foundation learning programmes (including E2E) will increase, linked to pilot activity where those learners on LSC ESF programmes can also access an EMA. 44
    • 3.1.4 Travel to learn patterns Table 6: West Midlands Young People Travel to Learn Patterns for FE by Local Authority L earners  L A Not within WM or unknowm Herefordshire, C ounty of T elford and Wrekin Wolverhampton S toke‐on‐T rent Worces ters hire P roviders  L A Warwicks hire S taffords hire B irmingham S hrops hire S andwell C oventry Walsall S olihull Dudley T otal B irmingham           14,051               27               65                 1             808                 9             603             345               2                 3             611             105               68             175             209          17,082 C oventry                  16          3,493                 1               ‐               ‐               ‐               50                 8            ‐               ‐                 1             335                 1               ‐               47            3,952 Dudley                580                 1          5,872                 1          2,462               23                 8             247               1                 5               50                 2             439             312               47          10,050 Herefords hire, C ounty of                    2               ‐                 2          2,825 ‐                           151               ‐                 3            ‐               ‐               ‐               ‐                 2             147             363            3,495 S andwell                399               ‐               69               ‐          1,394               ‐                 1                 8            ‐                 9               77               ‐               34                 2                 6            1,999 S hrops hire                    4                 1               12               89                 1          3,588                 1               16               1             260                 2               ‐               10               21             360            4,366 S olihull             2,623               25               42               ‐               36               ‐          2,717               30               1               ‐               19             109               22               99               58            5,781 S taffords hire                  83                 7               29                 2               30               68               10          7,871       1,141             177             197             221             116               17          2,081          12,050 S toke‐on‐T rent                  22                 3                 2               ‐               15               18               ‐          1,245       3,553                 5                 6                 3                 9               15             189            5,085 T elford and W rekin                  24                 7                 7                 7               11             400               ‐               47            10          2,778                 4               ‐               12                 6             220            3,533 Wals all                191               ‐               22                 1             446                 3                 3             236               2               ‐          1,904                 3             221               11               76            3,119 Warwicks hire                163             368                 6                 6                 4                 6             459               27               2               ‐                 4          6,306               ‐             356          1,630            9,337 Wolverhampton                  48               ‐             123               ‐             111               49                 3             355            ‐               42             245               ‐          2,454                 4               11            3,445 Worces ters hire                288               ‐               89             134               15             161               13               28               4               18                 5             127                 9          6,451             286            7,628 Not within W M or unknowm                231               48               30             225               22             209               57             992          131               20               27             104               26             199                 2            2,323 T otal           18,725          3,980          6,371          3,291          5,355          4,685          3,925        11,458       4,848          3,317          3,152          7,315          3,423          7,815          5,585          93,245 %  of res idents  not travelling els ewhere to learn 75% 88% 92% 86% 26% 77% 69% 69% 73% 84% 60% 86% 72% 83% S ource: IL R  0708 F 04 Across the region there are well established patterns of travel-to-learning; however the numbers of young people travelling outside their Local Authority area of residents has show small increases year on year; particularly at Level 3 and/or where institutions have particular specialisms/facilities that address learners’ needs. The above figures are representative of Further Education only. School travel-to-learn shows a similar pattern (with smaller volumes). Apprenticeship provision, linked to the location of the employer, shows the most variety of delivery patterns. Entry to Employment (E2E) remains the most localised of LSC funded provision and has a direct correlation to the wards with the highest NEET population or indices of multiple deprivations. 45
    • 3.1.5 Level 2 and Level 3 Attainment by age 19 Table 7: Proportion of people studying in a local authority at age 19 that reached the Level 2 threshold Area 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 Birmingham 55% 59% 62% 65% Solihull 68% 71% 73% 74% Dudley 63% 66% 66% 68% Sandwell 50% 53% 55% 59% Walsall 56% 59% 60% 63% Wolverhampton 58% 61% 63% 67% Coventry 60% 64% 65% 69% Warwickshire 67% 70% 72% 74% Herefordshire 70% 71% 73% 75% Worcestershire 66% 69% 70% 73% Shropshire 69% 72% 75% 77% Telford And Wrekin 60% 64% 67% 68% Staffordshire 63% 67% 69% 71% Stoke-On-Trent 53% 57% 61% 62% West Midlands 64% 67% 70% 72% England 66% 69% 71% 74% Source: LSC / FFT Matched Administrative Data The progress towards the 2010/11 Public Sector Agreement (and Local Area Agreement) targets for 82% achievement of Level 2 and 54% achievement of Level 3 at 19 continues upwards across all local authority areas in the West Midlands. The gap between national and regional progress however remains unchanged. Young People at Key Stage 4 achieving 5 A*-C GCSEs (including English and Maths) have an 85% chance of achieving their full Level 3 by 19; compared to only a 52% chance where their 5 A*-C GCSEs exclude attainment in English and Maths. Using post-16 value added data for schools and colleges, the West Midlands when compared nationally, is ‘one grade’ below that indicated through chances charts; significantly this extends to nearly two and a half grades when comparing the performance of boys next to girls. The role of curriculum planning and delivery will be key to closing this gap as well as the need to clearly establish the link to eventually achieving Level 3 to pre-16 attainment. 46
    • Table 7.1: Proportion of people studying in a local authority at age 19 that reached the Level 3 threshold Area 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 Birmingham 35% 37% 39% 40% Solihull 42% 47% 48% 49% Dudley 34% 40% 39% 41% Sandwell 26% 28% 29% 31% Walsall 33% 35% 33% 36% Wolverhampton 35% 38% 38% 39% Coventry 38% 41% 41% 42% Warwickshire 44% 47% 49% 51% Herefordshire 42% 46% 48% 49% Worcestershire 45% 48% 49% 51% Shropshire 42% 47% 49% 50% Telford And Wrekin 36% 39% 43% 41% Staffordshire 39% 43% 43% 45% Stoke-On-Trent 26% 30% 33% 32% West Midlands 39% 43% 44% 46% England 42% 45% 47% 48% Source: LSC / FFT Matched Administrative Data 3.1.6 Work-related Learning (14-16) 3.1.6.1 School Engagement Programme (SEP) Table 8: Volume of pupils, in the West Midlands, starting on SEP by LSC sub-region and local authority area. Area Type Area Name 2007/08 2008/09 2009/2010 Planned Achieved Planned Achieved Planned LSC Herefordshire & Worcestershire  n/a n/a LA Herefordshire  n/a n/a           100              98                100 LA Worcestershire              102            100           100              78                227 LSC Shropshire              207            200 LA Shropshire n/a n/a           150          150                169 LA Telford & Wrekin n/a n/a           100              99                  99 LSC Staffordshire n/a n/a LA Staffordshire              100            100           290          147                385 LA Stoke‐on‐Trent                90            150           200          115                161 LSC  Coventry & Warwickshire              320            292 LA Coventry n/a n/a           115          169                168 LA Warwickshire n/a n/a           150          110                214 LSC Birmingham & Solihull              230            350 LA Birmingham n/a n/a           361 tbc                457 LA Solihull n/a n/a           100 tbc                127 LSC The Black Country n/a n/a LA Dudley n/a n/a           150              41                240 LA Sandwell n/a n/a           100           109                184 LA Walsall n/a n/a           150          154                160 LA Wolverhampton              350            366           420          406                392 Region West Midlands         1,399       1,558         2,486       1,676              3,083 National England        15,495     21,601          28,026 Source: LSC / DCSF Matched Administrative Data 47
    • The Schools (or Key Stage 4 Engagement Programme) is a personalised programme for those learners most a risk of disengagement. It comprises each learner’s whole key stage 4 programme, placing an emphasis on the development of personal, social and functional skills. It includes a work-focused component and is underpinned by high quality regular IAG from a trusted adult. From the 2009/2010 academic year all funds will be granted, via the DCSF, to local authorities; with pupil numbers distributed based on a mixture of past performance and cohort numbers. The future of the programme will sit within the mainstream as a Progression Pathways (within the Foundation Learning Tier) to the Diploma (mainly at Level 1) or indeed GCSEs. The tabled figures in table 8 represent a combination of activity over previous years. Pilot programmes began in 2005/06 in a small number of LSC areas. This continued until 2007/08 where some activity began to be routed via local authorities. 2008/09 saw the main shift to a local authority grant based system with the LSC in a monitoring role; this movement will be completed for 2009/10. 3.1.6.2 Young Apprenticeship (YA) Young Apprenticeships began in 2004 (Cohort 1) with 1,000 pilot learners, increasing in 2005 (Cohort 2) to 2,000. Numbers with the West Midlands where relatively small until 2006 (Cohort 3) The programme forms part of a flexible curriculum offer for Key Stage 4 students, providing an occupationally specific learning opportunity. Students follow approved (by Sector Skills Councils) and vocationally related qualifications at Level 2; undertaking appropriate and extended work experience of up to 50 days. Table 9: Volume of YA pupils places, in the West Midlands, secured through Open and Competitive tender, by LSC sub-region and local authority area. Area Type Area Name Cohort 3 Cohort 4 Cohort 5 Cohort 6 2006/2008 2007/2009 2008/2010 2009/2011 Allocated Allocated Allocated Planned LSC Herefordshire & Worcestershire 129 214 234 190 LA Herefordshire 65 LA Worcestershire 125 LSC Shropshire 0 37 27 105 LA Shropshire 45 LA Telford & Wrekin 60 LSC Staffordshire 90 126 150 178 LA Staffordshire 120 LA Stoke-on-Trent 58 LSC Coventry & Warwickshire 169 190 215 188 LA Coventry 58 LA Warwickshire 130 LSC Birmingham & Solihull 24 59 73 130 LA Birmingham 110 LA Solihull 20 LSC The Black Country 88 183 213 172 LA Dudley 70 LA Sandwell 30 LA Walsall 40 LA Wolverhampton 32 Region West Midlands 500 809 912 963 National England 3500 8,000 8,668 9,028 Source: LSC / NFER Matched Administrative Data 48
    • Programmes are run through YA Partnerships who have been success through open and competitive tender (OCT). Currently upwards of 25 partnerships are able to offer a number of the15 different occupational areas are available nationally including: Sport, Health and Social Care, Engineering, Business Administration, Hospitality, Retail, Hairdressing, Construction and Motor Vehicle. 2009 (Cohort 6) will see the transfer of commissioning responsibilities for the programme from the LSC to local authorities. The tabled volumes show previous numbers, secured through OCT and allocated at a LSC sub-regional Level. It is worth noting that for Cohort 6 funds will be granted, via the LSC, to local authorities; with pupil numbers distributed based on a mixture of past performance and cohort numbers. The future of the programme is still to be decided, however, strong linkage remains within Diplomas. To this end Cohort 6 pupil numbers will see up to 1 in 5 pupils undertake a ‘YA+Diploma’; where the YA element will be contained within the ‘additional and specialist learning’ element of all Diplomas. The YA+Diploma will start to move YA away from being seen as a complete qualification rather than a programme. 3.1.6.3 Diplomas The Diplomas for 14-19 year olds will particularly engage those learners who prefer to learn in more practical settings, whilst the new entitlement will provider greater access to occupational learning. Added to this, an increasing focus on ‘stage’ rather than ‘age’ will enable many more young people to access learning that is at the right Level for them, thereby increasing participation and success. The aim is for the full Diploma entitlement to be rolled out by 2013. Table 10: West Midlands total learner numbers (pre and post-16) as at September 2008. Diploma Gateway 1 and 2 Total (pre & post 16) places by Sector starting September 2008 Social Health & Health & Social Places a % 14- 19 population Development Construction Applications Engineering No. of Lines Creative & Media No. of Total Care IT Local Authority Birmingham 39 7 1.0% 22 149 54 225 Solihull 9 7 2.0% 80 80 Dudley 21 7 1.3% 85 70 155 Sandwell 11 6 2.6% - Walsall 16 4 2.2% - Wolverhampton 10 10 6.0% 50 102 84 106 101 443 Coventry 21 5 1.6% 120 120 Warwickshire 26 6 0.5% - Herefordshire 10 0 0.0% - Worcestershire 36 9 2.4% 90 90 43 45 268 Shropshire 30 7 1.6% 48 48 Telford & Wrekin 9 2 0.4% - Staffordshire 48 8 0.9% 36 45 40 60 181 Stoke-on-Trent 9 8 2.7% 70 65 120 97 352 West Midlands Totals 295 86 1.8% 268 426 411 40 459 268 1,872 Source: GOWM progress towards local delivery of 14-19 reforms (quantitative indicators) 49
    • Map 2: West Midlands pre-16 Diploma planned starts (September 2008) by sector 69% of Diploma delivery in 2008/09 is being delivered to learners pre-16 – a total of 1,290 learners, of which 339 (26%) at Level 1 and 951 (74%) at Level 2. Source: DCSF Diploma Gateway (revised figures) Map 3: West Midlands post -16 Diploma planned starts (September 2008) by sector 31% of Diploma delivery in 2008/09 is being delivered to learners post-16 – a total of 582 learners, of which 45 (8%) at Level 1 and 60 (10%) at Level 2 and 477 (82%) at Level 3. Source: DCSF Diploma Gateway (revised figures) 50
    • There are a number of gaps in terms of geographical coverage and sectoral coverage in the West Midlands. We currently have 17 consortia in 10 Local Authority areas identified to teach 30 Diploma programmes from 2008. There are 4 Local Authority areas with no Diploma Programmes for 2008 and these are: • Warwickshire • Herefordshire • Telford and Wrekin • Sandwell Although we do have Wolverhampton Local Authority area who will be delivering all 10 Diploma lines in 2009, one of only 7 Local Authorities in the Country to do so. We have provision for the first 5 Diploma lines across most of the sub-regions for pre and post 16 but there are significant gaps in Coventry and Warwickshire and also Birmingham and Solihull. The Gateway three process has started for the 2010/11 academic year with consortia bids being submitted for December 2008 and the panel sitting in February 2009 3.1.6.4 GCSE Performance Chart R: Proportion of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C grades incl. Maths & English, 2008 (Provisional) England Average Shropshire Solihull Herefordshire Warwickshire Staffordshire Worcestershire Dudley Birmingham Telford and Wrekin Coventry Walsall Wolverhampton Stoke-on-Trent Sandwell 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Proportion of pupils Source: DCSF 51
    • 3.1.7 Investment of LSC Funded Provision – 16-18 Year Olds. It should be noted that learner numbers relating to 2007/08 are not yet finalised. Data for the completed year, across all provision types, will be available and validated from March 2009. Early indicators suggest that apparent reduction in Further Education numbers will be inline with previous year’s growth. Table 11: West Midlands LSC 16-18 Learner Responsive aggregate learner numbers. % change from  % Change for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham            31,686              30,731           29,542 ‐3% ‐4% Coventry               9,015                 8,786             9,212 ‐3% 5% Dudley               8,915                 8,321             8,862 ‐7% 7% Herefordshire, County of               4,692                 4,666             4,876 ‐1% 5% Sandwell               9,271                 8,512             8,486 ‐8% 0% Shropshire               8,899                 8,005             8,974 ‐10% 12% Solihull               5,733                 5,768             5,608 1% ‐3% Staffordshire            23,062              23,576           23,907 2% 1% Stoke‐on‐Trent               7,372                 7,227             7,518 ‐2% 4% Telford and Wrekin               5,189                 4,869             4,907 ‐6% 1% Walsall               8,166                 8,086             7,933 ‐1% ‐2% Warwickshire            14,086              13,684           13,949 ‐3% 2% Wolverhampton               7,495                 7,606             8,031 1% 6% Worcestershire            14,572              14,314           14,276 ‐2% 0% Total WM Activity          158,173            155,132        156,146 ‐2% 1% National Benchmark       1,415,602         1,424,575     1,432,764 1% 1% Source: WM Regional Peformance Reports and Corporate Reports Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) Chart S: West Midlands 16-18 Learner numbers disaggregated to provision type West Midlands 16-18 learners numbers by provision type 90000 Further Education (incl. 6th Form Colleges) 80000 Apprenticeships Entry to Employment (E2E) 70000 School 6th Form (excl. Academies) 60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports 52
    • Overall growth in the FE sector remains strong, with school sixth forms showing moderate growth. Academy numbers aren’t represented here and would be subtracted from the LSC school sixth form figures, and this removal will impact on individual local authority areas where 11-18 Academies have come on stream over the past three years. Work-based learning provision (Apprenticeships and E2E) did show a decline across the region of approximately 5,000 learners between 2005/06 and 2006/07. Both Apprenticeships and E2E have recovered over half of those learners during 2007/08; with recruitment particularly strong during June and July of 2008, due to the September Guarantee and the work of training providers, which will be indicated when the final data become available. Linked to the national picture (section 3.1.1) all areas are projected to achieve a degree of growth during 2008/09 and 2009/10, as the emphasis remains to reduce NEET, increase Apprenticeship take-up and ensure provision sustains those in- learning beyond their first year. Balancing the 16-18 Learner Responsive budget regionally and nationally across institutions and policy drivers remains challenging. In a demand-led system of learner choice, underscored by quality assured provision (and value for money), it will be necessary for money to follow the learner with institution performance either consolidated or rebased accordingly. Where evidence of demand is high or where new priority provision arises (in part linked new capital builds) a case for growth may be warranted. 3.1.7.1 Further Education Table 12: West Midlands Youth Learners in Further Education by Local Authority % change  from  % Change for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham                        18,581                       17,931                       16,387 ‐3% ‐9% Coventry                           3,927                          3,737                          3,960 ‐5% 6% Dudley                           6,297                          6,044                          6,354 ‐4% 5% Herefordshire, County of                           2,914                          3,084                          3,256 6% 6% Sandwell                           5,603                          5,274                          5,043 ‐6% ‐4% Shropshire                           4,373                          5,128                          5,397 17% 5% Solihull                           3,515                          3,654                          3,621 4% ‐1% Staffordshire                           9,795                       11,478                       11,281 17% ‐2% Stoke‐on‐Trent                           4,491                          4,664                          4,815 4% 3% Telford and Wrekin                           3,037                          3,192                          3,218 5% 1% Walsall                           3,138                          3,131                          3,128 0% 0% Warwickshire                           7,161                          7,079                          6,970 ‐1% ‐2% Wolverhampton                           3,013                          3,183                          3,367 6% 6% Worcestershire                           7,547                          7,675                          7,252 2% ‐6% Total WM Activity                        83,392                       85,254                       84,049 2% ‐1% National Benchmark                      725,820                     747,762                     764,194 3% 2% Source: WM Regional Performance Report (2005/06 F05, 2006/07 F05 and 2007/08 F04) plus Corporate reports for National Figures Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) 53
    • Chart T: West Midlands Further Education Youth (16-18) enrolments (at F04), by Level, by Sector (Tier 1) 2007/08 Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care Arts, Media and Publishing Entry Level Business, Administration and Law Level 1 Construction, Planning and the Built Environment Level 2 Level 3 Education and Training Level 4 or 5 or Higher Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Unkown Health, Public Services and Care History, Philosophy and Theology Information and Communication Technology Languages, Literature and Culture Leisure, Travel and Tourism Retail and Commercial Enterprise Science and Mathematics Social Sciences 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 Enrolments Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports It should be noted that both learner numbers and funding are allocated at an institution Level. The figures represent an aggregate of individual learners back up to a local authority Level. While overall participation and funding for FE continues to rise, across the majority of institutions, learner choice at a resident Level will impact on the figures shown here. Table 13: West Midlands Youth Learners funding Further Education by Local Authority % change  from  % Change for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham £             63,430,420 £             69,201,575 £             68,042,516 9% ‐2% Coventry £             13,686,314 £             14,400,720 £             15,995,977 5% 11% Dudley £             21,964,619 £             24,386,392 £             26,513,976 11% 9% Herefordshire, County of £             12,550,811 £             13,751,416 £             14,806,843 10% 8% Sandwell £             18,826,221 £             19,967,390 £             20,341,468 6% 2% Shropshire £             16,996,780 £             18,328,890 £             19,726,141 8% 8% Solihull £             12,820,596 £             14,578,715 £             15,197,057 14% 4% Staffordshire £             33,117,325 £             40,525,809 £             43,640,114 22% 8% Stoke‐on‐Trent £             17,203,856 £             19,543,200 £             21,172,750 14% 8% Telford and Wrekin £             11,113,492 £             11,790,265 £             13,114,108 6% 11% Walsall £             10,317,238 £             11,508,021 £             12,314,287 12% 7% Warwickshire £             26,828,105 £             28,871,579 £             29,903,699 8% 4% Wolverhampton £             10,367,524 £             11,514,666 £             12,870,295 11% 12% Worcestershire £             28,581,378 £             31,591,402 £             29,911,467 11% ‐5% Total WM Activity £           297,804,679 £           329,960,040 £           343,550,698 11% 4% National Benchmark £         2,785,339,121 £       3,046,610,817 £       3,264,736,129 9% 7% Source: WM Regional Performance Report (2005/06 F05, 2006/07 F05 and 2007/08 F04) plus Corporate reports for National Figures Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) 54
    • Table 14: West Midlands Youth Learners FE Success Rates by Local Authority Difference  Difference  from  from 2004/05  2005/06 to  Local Authorities 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 to 2005/06 2006/07 Birmingham 68% 71% 73% 3% 2% Coventry 70% 68% 67% ‐1% ‐2% Dudley 78% 78% 79% 0% 1% Herefordshire, County of 83% 82% 85% ‐1% 2% Sandwell 71% 73% 74% 2% 1% Shropshire 80% 81% 81% 1% 0% Solihull 72% 74% 75% 2% 1% Staffordshire 75% 74% 77% 0% 2% Stoke‐on‐Trent 74% 73% 72% ‐1% ‐2% Telford and Wrekin 81% 79% 83% ‐2% 4% Walsall 66% 70% 76% 4% 6% Warwickshire 78% 77% 79% ‐1% 2% Wolverhampton 66% 71% 74% 5% 3% Worcestershire 80% 76% 83% ‐4% 6% Unable to match to Local Authority** 0% 100% 100% n/a n/a Total WM Activity 74.29% 74.62% 76.82% 0% 2% National Benchmark 72% 75% 77% 3% 2% Source: WM Regional Performance Report plus Corporate reports Overall success rates continue to rise and see the region improve on a historically low base. The figures present the performance of resident young people attending FE institutions (and not the performance of institutions within those local authority areas). It is worth noting that figures are significantly ahead of Minimum Levels of Performance utilised with institutions. Table 15: West Midlands Youth LLDD Learners by Local Authority Volumes % Local Authorities LLDD Not LLDD No Info Total LLDD Not LLDD No Info Total Birmingham                           1,685                       13,611                          1,091             16,387 10% 83% 7% 100% Coventry 462 1392 2106               3,960 12% 35% 53% 100% Dudley 757 5557 40               6,354 12% 87% 1% 100% Herefordshire, County of                              786                          2,436                               34               3,256 24% 75% 1% 100% Sandwell                              482                          4,463                               98               5,043 10% 88% 2% 100% Shropshire 795 3682 920               5,397 15% 68% 17% 100% Solihull                              353                          3,194                               74               3,621 10% 88% 2% 100% Staffordshire                           2,438                          8,456                             387             11,281 22% 75% 3% 100% Stoke‐on‐Trent                           1,562                          3,118                             135               4,815 32% 65% 3% 100% Telford and Wrekin                              564                          2,354                             300               3,218 18% 73% 9% 100% Walsall                              254                          2,764                             110               3,128 8% 88% 4% 100% Warwickshire                           1,106                          5,766                               98               6,970 16% 83% 1% 100% Wolverhampton                              327                          3,008                               32               3,367 10% 89% 1% 100% Worcestershire                           1,095                          6,048                             109               7,252 15% 83% 2% 100% Unable to match to Local Authority                                70                             378                               32                  480 15% 79% 7% 100% Total WM Activity                        12,736                       66,227                          5,566             84,529 15% 78% 7% 100% National Benchmark                  116,843.00               595,553.00                  51,798.00    764,194.00 15% 78% 7% 100% Source: WM Regional Performance Report (2007/08 F04*) and Corporate Reports for National Figures Learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities continue to be a priority group of learners for the LSC. The numbers of young people in Further Education Colleges vary across each Local Authority in the West Midlands ranging from 8% to 32% of the overall cohort with a West Midlands average of 15%. We will continue to work with Local Authorities to understand and profile these young people coming through. This will enable us to better plan provision and understand the specific cohort differences in each local authority area and in turn how provision needs to address these differences. 55
    • We will also continue to work with providers to ensure that the proportion of learners with ‘no information’ decreases to ensure that the provision being delivered can be as responsive as possible to learner need and demand. 3.1.7.2 School Sixth Form Table 16: West Midlands School Sixth Form Youth Learners by Local Authority % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Authorities of the School 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 to 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham                            7,464                           7,687                           7,692 3% 0% Coventry                            3,010                           3,056                           3,191 2% 4% Dudley                               517                              470                                544 ‐9% 16% Herefordshire, County of                               493                              471                                493 ‐4% 5% Sandwell                            1,410                           1,297                           1,330 ‐8% 3% Shropshire                            1,278                           1,249                           1,212 ‐2% ‐3% Solihull                            1,111                           1,148                                950 3% ‐17% Staffordshire                            7,445                           7,321                           7,415 ‐2% 1% Stoke‐on‐Trent                               553                              533                                516 ‐4% ‐3% Telford and Wrekin                               768                              460                                441 ‐40% ‐4% Walsall                            3,075                           3,282                           2,895 7% ‐12% Warwickshire                            3,869                           3,984                           4,137 3% 4% Wolverhampton                            2,633                           2,803                           2,864 6% 2% Worcestershire                            4,427                           4,469                           4,455 1% 0% Total WM Activity                          38,053                         38,230                         38,135 0% 0% National Benchmark                       368,037                      377,303                      370,222 3% ‐2% Source: 05/06 PLASC, 06/07 PLAMS Local Authority Figures and PLASC for national figures , 0708 S03 Census Note: Academcies removed from 2006/07 PLAMS and 2007/08 Census Data based on list from Edubase It should be noted that both learner numbers and funding are allocated at an institution Level. The figures represent an aggregate of individual learners back up to a local authority Level. Displacement, new schools sixth forms and academies have impacted upon particular areas and institutions. Areas with academies replacing previous institutions will see a reduction in numbers and funding as they are no longer recorded via the LSC (but directly through DCSF), this is of particular note in Telford and Wrekin in the above table. Overall investment continues to rise (though learner numbers appear unchanged). School Sixth Form incorporates a minimum funding guarantee, teachers pay grant, and teacher pensions. Table 17: West Midlands School Sixth Form Funding by Local Authority % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Authorities of the School 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 to 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham £              38,566,561 £              39,984,679 £              42,151,497 4% 5% Coventry £              14,152,010 £              14,685,608 £              15,209,229 4% 4% Dudley £                 2,768,902 £                 2,834,489 £                 2,846,333 2% 0% Herefordshire, County of £                 2,430,619 £                 2,489,204 £                 2,466,729 2% ‐1% Sandwell £                 7,554,441 £                 7,683,557 £                 7,199,748 2% ‐6% Shropshire £                 6,076,473 £                 6,265,684 £                 6,119,259 3% ‐2% Solihull £                 3,412,506 £                 3,541,429 £                 3,717,164 4% 5% Staffordshire £              35,283,862 £              36,083,691 £              36,625,907 2% 2% Stoke‐on‐Trent £                 2,979,605 £                 3,066,641 £                 3,052,291 3% 0% Telford and Wrekin £                 2,223,432 £                 2,271,151 £                 2,402,358 2% 6% Walsall £              13,843,480 £              14,297,807 £              15,495,224 3% 8% Warwickshire £              18,811,072 £              19,334,831 £              20,614,162 3% 7% Wolverhampton £              11,842,124 £              12,699,682 £              13,569,556 7% 7% Worcestershire £              21,543,842 £              22,254,684 £              22,641,257 3% 2% Total WM Activity £            181,488,929 £            187,493,136 £            194,110,713 3% 4% National Benchmark £         1,887,715,882 £         1,963,681,185 £         2,057,941,564 4% 5% Source: S6F AMPS plus Corporate reports 56
    • 3.1.7.3 A-Level Results Chart U: Post-16 general and applied A/AS or equivalent achievement 2008 (Provisional) England Average Herefordshire Shropshire Dudley Telford and Wrekin Worcestershire Warwickshire Birmingham Staffordshire Coventry Stoke-on-Trent Solihull Walsall Sandwell Wolverhampton 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 Average QCA point score by students achieving all Level 3 qualifications, per candidate Source: DCSF 3.1.7.4 Entry to Employment Table 18: West Midlands Entry to Employment Learner Starts % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham      1,570          1,518          1,576 ‐3% 4% Coventry         418             451             526 8% 17% Dudley         207             266             242 29% ‐9% Herefordshire, County of         105                82             146 ‐22% 78% Sandwell         332             456             505 37% 11% Shropshire         246             272             327 11% 20% Solihull         154             133             116 ‐14% ‐13% Staffordshire         736             670             723 ‐9% 8% Stoke‐on‐Trent         490             509             453 4% ‐11% Telford and Wrekin         304             338             279 11% ‐17% Walsall         310             418             458 35% 10% Warwickshire         460             468             474 2% 1% Wolverhampton         387             401             427 4% 6% Worcestershire         447             421             552 ‐6% 31% Total WM Activity      6,173          6,407          6,818 4% 6% National Benchmark   50,873       50,333       54,427 ‐1% 8% Source: WM Regional Performance Report (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12)National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) 57
    • It should be noted that both learner numbers and funding are allocated at an institution Level. The figures represent an aggregate of individual learners back up to a local authority Level. E2E continues to be the LSCs main ‘first rung’ provision to support the reduction of those NEET young people. As the programme also has an important role as a ‘Pre- Apprenticeship’ progression route, the has continued to utilise ESF provision to target the hardest-to-help learners for whom even the individualised and flexible nature of E2E can prove challenging. Table 18.1: West Midlands Entry to Employment Progression Rates Difference  Difference  from 2005/06  for 2006/07  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 to 2007/08 Birmingham 41% 41% 51% 0% 10% Coventry 50% 49% 57% ‐1% 8% Dudley 51% 51% 55% 0% 4% Herefordshire, County of 57% 40% 41% ‐17% 1% Sandwell 54% 53% 49% 0% ‐5% Shropshire 54% 49% 51% ‐6% 2% Solihull 37% 50% 45% 12% ‐5% Staffordshire 54% 52% 54% ‐2% 2% Stoke‐on‐Trent 46% 41% 53% ‐5% 12% Telford and Wrekin 39% 45% 51% 6% 7% Walsall 41% 50% 57% 8% 7% Warwickshire 58% 62% 65% 4% 3% Wolverhampton 50% 51% 49% 1% ‐2% Worcestershire 49% 57% 56% 8% ‐1% Total WM Activity 48% 48% 53% 1% 5% National Benchmark 48% 51% 52% 3% 1% Source: WM Regional Performance Report and corporate report for National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Progression from E2E remains the performance measure for the programme. Recorded here at the positive progressions back into education, employment (with or without training) and training. The programme is now in its fifth year and has seen positive progressions increase steadily, but with more work to do to reduce those moving on to employment without training and to increase those able to access an Apprenticeship. 58
    • 3.1.7.5 Apprenticeships (16-18) Table 19: West Midlands 16-18 Apprenticeships and Advance Apprenticeships Starts % change from  % Change for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham           1,535          1,730            1,523 13% ‐12% Coventry              687             710                621 3% ‐13% Dudley              805             782                787 ‐3% 1% Herefordshire, County of              475             477                439 0% ‐8% Sandwell              846             671                647 ‐21% ‐4% Shropshire              680             609                744 ‐10% 22% Solihull              375             444                386 18% ‐13% Staffordshire           1,961          1,889            1,861 ‐4% ‐1% Stoke‐on‐Trent              655             669                660 2% ‐1% Telford and Wrekin              381             360                416 ‐6% 16% Walsall              625             606                624 ‐3% 3% Warwickshire              998             981                993 ‐2% 1% Wolverhampton              543             533                573 ‐2% 8% Worcestershire              830             842                858 1% 2% Total WM Activity         11,396        11,303          11,132 ‐1% ‐2% National Benchmark        107,031     105,579        105,093 ‐1% 0% Source: WM Regional Performance Reports (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12) National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Table 19.1: West Midlands 16-18 Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships Success Rates Difference  Difference for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham 42% 59% 62% 17% 3% Coventry 51% 66% 71% 16% 5% Dudley 57% 63% 69% 6% 6% Herefordshire, County of 64% 71% 80% 8% 8% Sandwell 53% 63% 67% 10% 4% Shropshire 64% 69% 76% 6% 6% Solihull 44% 63% 60% 19% ‐3% Staffordshire 51% 61% 66% 10% 4% Stoke‐on‐Trent 46% 59% 62% 13% 3% Telford and Wrekin 54% 64% 65% 10% 0% Walsall 49% 57% 61% 8% 4% Warwickshire 53% 65% 67% 12% 1% Wolverhampton 47% 61% 62% 14% 1% Worcestershire 49% 57% 62% 9% 4% Total WM Activity 51% 63% 66% 11% 3% National Benchmark 57% 64% 63% 7% ‐1% Source: WM Regional Performance Reports (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12) National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) 59
    • Chart V: West Midlands Apprenticeship Youth (16-18) starts by Level, by Sector (Tier 1) Agriculture, Horticulture and Level 3 (Advanced Apprenticeship) Animal Care Level 2 (Apprenticeship) Business, Administration and Law Construction, Planning and the Built Environment Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Health, Public Services and Care Information and Communication Technology Leisure, Travel and Tourism Retail and Commercial Enterprise 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 Starts Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports It should be noted that both learner numbers and funding are allocated at an institution Level. The figures represent an aggregate of individual learners back up to a local authority Level. Learner choice at a resident Level and the critical role of the employer will impact on the figures shown here. The climate for 16-18 year old Apprenticeships remains challenging. Performance between regions varies considerably. Some are making large increases in participation up to 15% additional starts in 2007/08. The national picture remains static as other regions, including the West Midlands, have seen numbers reduce – despite additional resource being made available. 60
    • Table 19.2: West Midlands 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship Starts % change from  % Change for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham              309             358                338 16% ‐6% Coventry              163             194                155 19% ‐20% Dudley              123             181                185 47% 2% Herefordshire, County of              133             133                152 0% 14% Sandwell              180             129                125 ‐28% ‐3% Shropshire              166             157                187 ‐5% 19% Solihull                 76             106                106 39% 0% Staffordshire              431             471                434 9% ‐8% Stoke‐on‐Trent              151             143                154 ‐5% 8% Telford and Wrekin                 76             104                  98 37% ‐6% Walsall              120             110                135 ‐8% 23% Warwickshire              242             232                265 ‐4% 14% Wolverhampton                 86                84                104 ‐2% 24% Worcestershire              172             190                214 10% 13% Total WM Activity           2,429          2,597            2,662 7% 3% National Benchmark         24,936        24,812          25,040 0% 1% Source: WM Regional Performance Reports (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12) National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Table 19.3: West Midlands 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeships Success Rates Difference  Difference for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham 37% 49% 61% 12% 13% Coventry 49% 60% 63% 11% 3% Dudley 51% 65% 74% 14% 9% Herefordshire, County of 54% 74% 84% 20% 9% Sandwell 43% 54% 68% 11% 14% Shropshire 67% 71% 79% 5% 7% Solihull 34% 55% 68% 22% 13% Staffordshire 46% 59% 65% 13% 6% Stoke‐on‐Trent 40% 63% 62% 23% ‐1% Telford and Wrekin 52% 68% 70% 15% 3% Walsall 47% 52% 56% 5% 4% Warwickshire 43% 60% 59% 17% ‐1% Wolverhampton 42% 58% 62% 16% 4% Worcestershire 40% 58% 59% 19% 1% Total WM Activity 48% 62% 67% 13% 5% National Benchmark 54% 64% 62% 10% ‐2% Source: WM Regional Performance Reports (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12) National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeships have shown small increases in those starting the programme. Frameworks for Advanced Apprentices remain particularly challenging; much of the activity is around 18 year olds, where the jobs being undertaken are able to satisfy the competencies required for a Level 3. 61
    • Table 19.4: West Midlands 16-18 Apprenticeship Starts % change from  % Change for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham           1,226          1,372            1,185 12% ‐14% Coventry              524             516                466 ‐2% ‐10% Dudley              682             601                602 ‐12% 0% Herefordshire, County of              342             344                287 1% ‐17% Sandwell              666             542                522 ‐19% ‐4% Shropshire              514             452                557 ‐12% 23% Solihull              299             338                280 13% ‐17% Staffordshire           1,530          1,418            1,427 ‐7% 1% Stoke‐on‐Trent              504             526                506 4% ‐4% Telford and Wrekin              305             256                318 ‐16% 24% Walsall              505             496                489 ‐2% ‐1% Warwickshire              756             749                728 ‐1% ‐3% Wolverhampton              457             449                469 ‐2% 4% Worcestershire              658             652                644 ‐1% ‐1% Total WM Activity           8,968          8,711            8,480 ‐3% ‐3% National Benchmark         82,095        80,767          80,053 ‐2% ‐1% Source: WM Regional Performance Reports (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12) National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Table 19.5: West Midlands 16-18 Apprenticeships Success Rates Difference  Difference for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Authorities 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Birmingham 43% 61% 62% 18% 1% Coventry 52% 68% 74% 17% 6% Dudley 58% 62% 67% 4% 5% Herefordshire, County of 68% 70% 77% 3% 7% Sandwell 55% 65% 66% 10% 1% Shropshire 59% 67% 72% 8% 6% Solihull 48% 65% 57% 17% ‐8% Staffordshire 52% 62% 66% 10% 4% Stoke‐on‐Trent 48% 58% 62% 10% 4% Telford and Wrekin 55% 63% 62% 8% ‐1% Walsall 50% 58% 62% 9% 4% Warwickshire 58% 67% 70% 10% 3% Wolverhampton 48% 61% 62% 13% 0% Worcestershire 53% 57% 63% 4% 5% Total WM Activity 52% 63% 66% 11% 3% National Benchmark 58% 65% 64% 7% ‐1% Source: WM Regional Performance Reports (2005/06 W15, 2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12) National Figures Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) The future role of the National Apprenticeship Service will be critical. Evidence suggests that demand from young people actually exceeds the numbers that translate into Apprenticeship starts. In the main this is to do with the need for a greater number of employers to engage with the programme, alongside an greater understanding on how to ‘access’ an Apprenticeship route and an appreciation of the economic importance they can play by delivering improved skills for life and full Level 2s and 3s. 62
    • With many young people accessing the programme with relatively low previous attainment and skills Levels, Success Rates continue to be an extremely positive factor for the programme. 3.1.7.5 Skills for Life (young people) Table 20: Young People Skills for Life participation (Literacy) Participation Achievements % Change  for  2006/07  to  2006/07 2007/08 2007/08 2006/07 Birmingham        21,991        20,552 ‐7%                  13,476 Coventry          5,760          5,149 ‐11%                   3,011 Dudley          5,579          5,293 ‐5%                   3,194 Herefordshire, County of          2,531          2,217 ‐12%                   1,445 Sandwell          5,841          6,163 6%                   3,253 Shropshire          6,379          4,925 ‐23%                   3,916 Solihull          2,988          3,288 10%                   1,731 Staffordshire        14,865        14,600 ‐2%                   9,260 Stoke‐on‐Trent          5,789          6,430 11%                   3,528 Telford and Wrekin          2,830          2,847 1%                   1,834 Walsall          4,929          5,205 6%                   3,012 Warwickshire          8,057          7,639 ‐5%                   5,034 Wolverhampton          5,453          5,474 0%                   3,135 Worcestershire          9,076          7,583 ‐16%                   5,438 Total WM Activity     102,068        97,365 ‐5%                  61,267 Source: WM Regional Performance Reports & National ad hoc or scorecard, alternative Targets cube This information relates to the identification of young people participating and achieving in adult literacy learning at Level one and above, numeracy entry Level three and above (based on the Leitch Functional Skills definitions). Overall there is a 5% regional reduction in the number of young people participating in the Adult Literacy Certificate at Level one and above and a 1% reduction in the number of young people participating in the Certificate in Adult Numeracy. There is an expectation that young people will undertake Key Skills and GCSE re-sits as opposed to undertaking the certificates in Adult Literacy and Numeracy which impacts upon literacy and numeracy learner numbers. 63
    • Table 21: Young People Skills for Life participation (Numeracy) Participation Achievements % Change for  2006/07 to  2006/07 2007/08 2007/08 2006/07 Birmingham         17,636        16,867 ‐4%                      9,529 Coventry           5,375          4,645 ‐14%                      2,608 Dudley           4,010          4,155 4%                      2,381 Herefordshire, County of           2,070          1,862 ‐10%                      1,193 Sandwell           4,669          5,081 9%                      2,512 Shropshire           6,010          4,486 ‐25%                      3,574 Solihull           2,893          2,977 3%                      1,566 Staffordshire         12,066        13,066 8%                      7,080 Stoke‐on‐Trent           5,054          5,525 9%                      3,026 Telford and Wrekin           2,894          2,818 ‐3%                      1,809 Walsall           3,326          3,848 16%                      1,867 Warwickshire           6,334          6,354 0%                      3,451 Wolverhampton           4,346          4,488 3%                      2,497 Worcestershire           7,178          6,830 ‐5%                      4,370 Total WM Activity         83,861        83,002 ‐1%                  47,463 Source: WM Performance Reports & National ad hoc or scorecard, alternative Targets cube Nationally there has also been an increase in the English and Maths Levels for young people leaving school which will impact on the number of young people needing support with literacy and numeracy. There is an expectation that full achievement data for 07/08 will reflect participation data trends. 3.1.7.6 OLASS (16-18) ILR data in custody was not collected until the LSC took control of funding and planning Offender Learning in 2006/07, the ILR data we receive shows all OLASS and mainstream FE funding that learners engage in whilst in custody. During 2007/8 both HMYOI Stoke Heath and Brinsford were given additional funds by the LSC to increase their learning and skills delivery capacity following an expansion at both establishments. This additional funding has enabled more Young People to engage in wider range of learning whilst in custody. Some 18 year olds would have also benefited from the ESF Equal projects that significantly increased the volume of Learning and Skills in 2007/08. 64
    • Table 22: West Midlands Young Offenders Institutes Performance 2007/08 CNA  engaged in OLASS activity  Inductions to Education (IAG) Operational Capacity (CNA) S4L Assessments Delivered Sub Regional Office HMYOI  Staffordshire Brinsford 112 72% 355 349 Shropshire Stoke Heath 202 77% 622 578 Staffordshire Werrington 160 73% 520 207 Source: OLASS Performance Report The table above give an analysis of current delivery arrangements in custody and relate to young people only. Two of the establishments, Stoke Heath and Brinsford, have young people and young adults within the regime. In both cases the same learning and IAG provider deliver to young adults and young people. Teaching and learning utilises the same staff and resources. IAG is also delivered by the same provider. Although there is still much work to do related to information transfer from custody to the community, current arrangements have facilitated this process. This is due to a single provider having this responsibility across the region. 65
    • 3.2 Adult 3.2.1.1 Adult Level 2 and Adult Level 3 Table 23: West Midlands Adult FE Full Level 2 Learner number % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office  2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 4,831 5,343 4,584 11% ‐14% Staffordshire 7,162 6,546 6,441 ‐9% ‐2% Black Country 6,543 6,898 6,570 5% ‐5% Birmingham & Solihull 7,334 6,724 6,067 ‐8% ‐10% Herefordshire and Worcester 2,126 2,534 2,574 19% 2% Coventy & Warwickshire 3,393 4,824 4,190 42% ‐13% Total WM Activity 31,389 32,869 30,426 5% ‐7% National Benchmark 206,775 212,424                222,387 3% 5% Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) There were large sub regional variations in the Full Level 2 Adult participation rate, which saw the West Midlands drop by -7%. Over the last three years, we restructured our investment to direct it more towards activity that better meets employer and economic demand and the increase in Train to Gain numbers in section 3.3 reflects this move and outlines the shift in provision. Table 23.1: West Midlands Adult FE Full Level 3 Learner numbers % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office  2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 1866 1861 2051 0% 10% Staffordshire 3819 3494 3424 ‐9% ‐2% Black Country 3831 3411 3328 ‐11% ‐2% Birmingham & Solihull 5632 5480 5642 ‐3% 3% Herefordshire and Worcester 2109 1981 2149 ‐6% 8% Coventy & Warwickshire 2649 2658 2716 0% 2% Total WM Activity 19906 18885 19310 ‐5% 2% National Benchmark               161,887            156,112                164,806 ‐4% 6% Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) Participation at Full Level 3 increased on the previous year by 2%, which reflects the national trend at this Level. It is vitally important for the wider economy that we see an increase in the number of Adults participating at this Level. Whilst there were some sub regional variations, most sub regions saw an increase, with Shropshire seeing a 10% rise in numbers on the previous year. 66
    • Table 23.2: West Midlands Adult FE Learner Full Level 2 Success Rates Difference from  Difference for  2004/05 to  2005/06 to  Local Office  2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2005/06 2006/07 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 78.7% 83.8% 79.0% 5% ‐5% Staffordshire 61.7% 59.0% 61.3% ‐3% 2% Black Country 54.1% 59.0% 65.7% 5% 7% Birmingham and Solihull 61.7% 70.2% 73.1% 8% 3% Herefordshire and Worcestershire 61.2% 68.6% 74.7% 7% 6% Coventry and Warwickshire 66.4% 69.2% 77.4% 3% 8% Total WM Activity 64.5% 67.7% 71.0% 3% 3% National Benchmark 62.4% 68.2% 69.9% 6% 2% Source: WM Regional Reporting and national figures from the Corporate Reports Table 23.3: West Midlands Adult FE Learner Full Level 3 Success Rates Difference from  Difference for  2004/05 to  2005/06 to  Local Office  2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2005/06 2006/07 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 59.0% 70.4% 63.3% 11% ‐7% Staffordshire 51.2% 57.8% 63.5% 7% 6% Black Country 45.1% 57.0% 67.8% 12% 11% Birmingham and Solihull 55.5% 63.0% 67.5% 7% 4% Herefordshire and Worcestershire 60.0% 59.6% 60.3% 0% 1% Coventry and Warwickshire 57.7% 59.9% 64.6% 2% 5% Total WM Activity 53.5% 60.7% 65.3% 7% 5% National Benchmark 56.4% 61.9% 66.2% 6% 4% Source: WM Regional Reporting and national figures from the Corporate Reports Success Rates continue to improve year on year for both Full Level 2 and Full Level 3, with a regional increase of 3% and 5% respectively. This closely follows the national trend, with the West Midlands above the national figure for Full Level 2 and only slightly bellow for Full Level 3. This strong performance in Level 2 and Level 3 suggests that providers in the West Midlands have successfully targeted their resources to priority areas of provision. This Level of success will need to be maintained and even increased if the region is to see the rises in skills Levels of its population required to meet the needs of employment and the economy in the future. 67
    • 3.2.1.2 Further Education Table 24: West Midlands Adult (19+) FE Learner numbers % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office  2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 26142 22021 20876 ‐16% ‐5% Staffordshire 55481 36999 33356 ‐33% ‐10% Black Country 101253 74468 63953 ‐26% ‐14% Birmingham & Solihull 67887 45224 39533 ‐33% ‐13% Herefordshire and Worcester 40747 27567 24668 ‐32% ‐11% Coventy & Warwickshire 54554 36789 37335 ‐33% 1% Total WM Activity 346064 243068 219721 ‐30% ‐10% National Benchmark            2,565,463        1,885,207            1,685,861 ‐27% ‐11% Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) Adult participation in Further Education (FE) was affected by the overall drop in adult participation in learning. F04 figures for 2007/08 show a regional drop of 10% which follows the national trend. The table below shows the mirrored drop in funding for Adult FE learning and signifies the shift in policy towards Train to Gain and priority targeted provision. Table 24.1: West Midlands Adult (19+) FE Learner funding % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office  2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) £15,383,047 £15,170,327 £14,333,150 ‐1% ‐6% Staffordshire £38,378,581 £33,964,654 £32,134,772 ‐12% ‐5% Black Country £85,501,892 £80,907,968 £75,000,847 ‐5% ‐7% Birmingham & Solihull £52,430,776 £42,922,948 £41,016,647 ‐18% ‐4% Herefordshire and Worcester £25,219,058 £23,035,563 £21,718,858 ‐9% ‐6% Coventy & Warwickshire £38,594,431 £35,641,093 £34,918,381 ‐8% ‐2% Total WM Activity £255,507,786 £231,642,553 £219,122,655 ‐9% ‐5% National Benchmark 1,949,847,046 £1,763,899,223 £  1,668,462,785 ‐10% ‐5% Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports Note: * 2007/08 F04 (F05 available March 2009) Whilst participation figures have dropped the quality of provision has been maintained. Success Rates in recent years have stayed around the 78% mark for Adults in FE in the West Midlands, and remain above the national average. 68
    • Table 24.2: West Midlands Adult (19+) FE LLDD Learners Volumes % Local Office LLDD Not LLDD No Info Total LLDD Not LLDD No Info Total Shropshire                         6,864               52,522                       4,567            63,953 11% 82% 7% 100% Staffordshire                         4,117               25,534                       7,684            37,335 11% 68% 21% 100% Black Country                         3,293               19,938                       1,437            24,668 13% 81% 6% 100% Birmingham & Solihull                         2,351               16,920                       1,605            20,876 11% 81% 8% 100% Herefordshire and Worcester                         3,767               27,604                       1,985            33,356 11% 83% 6% 100% Coventy & Warwickshire                         4,153               34,683                          697            39,533 11% 88% 2% 100% Total WM Activity                       24,545             177,201                    17,975         219,721 11% 81% 8% 100% National Benchmark                   199,449         1,330,190                  156,222      1,685,861 12% 79% 9% 100% Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports Learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities continue to be a priority group of learners for the LSC and for adults, they represent on average 12% of the cohort in Further Education Colleges. We will continue to work with providers to ensure that the proportion of learners with ‘no info’ decreases to ensure that the provision being delivered can be as responsive as possible to meet learner need and demand. 3.2.2 Adult Safeguarded Learning, including PCDL Table 25: West Midlands Adult (19+) Safeguarded Learner numbers, including PCDL % Change for  2006/07 to  Local Office  2006/07 2007/08* 2007/08 Shropshire                       7,017                       6,885 ‐2% Staffordshire                     18,382                     17,170 ‐7% Black Country                     17,261                     15,036 ‐13% Birmingham & Solihull                     12,978                     10,068 ‐22% Herefordshire and Worcester                       5,109                       6,103 19% Coventy & Warwickshire                     10,166                       9,924 ‐2% Total WM Activity                     70,913                     65,186 ‐8% National Benchmark                   790,071                   756,327 ‐4% Source: WM Regional Performance Report (ASL Cube) 2005/06 C03, 2006/07 C03 F05 2007/08 C02 & F04 Notes: * 2007/08 Data collections for FE and ACL not until March 2009 and will not be in this table Adult Safeguard Learning consists of four programme elements as follows: • Personal and Community Development Learning (PCDL) • Family Literacy, Language and Numeracy (FLLN) • Wider Family Learning (WFL) • Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities (NLDC) Nationally the funding for ASL remains constant for the three year CSR period which means that in the region this is a reducing budget in real terms. The data in table xx shows a reduction in learner number for 2007/08 however this data is incomplete and we will not have the full data set until March 2009. However planning volumes for 2008/09 shows an increase of 4% on 2006/07. We are improving as a region in the quality of the data collected for ASL and this will help to ensure that we deliver the volumes planned. 69
    • 3.2.3 Skills for Life – Leitch target Table 26: Adult Skills for Life participation (Literacy) Participation Achievements % Change  for  2006/07  to  2006/07 2007/08 2007/08 2006/07 Shropshire          6,045          6,092 1%                  3,760 Staffordshire        15,668        17,242 10%                  9,696 Black Country        18,957        18,847 ‐1%                 10,630 Birmingham & Solihull        21,555        24,389 13%                 13,037 Herefordshire and Worcester          9,974          8,794 ‐12%                  6,044 Coventy & Warwickshire        13,678        14,272 4%                  8,026 Total WM Activity        85,877        89,636 4%                 51,193 Source: WM Regional Performance Reports & National ad hoc or scorecard, alternative Targets cube Table 26.1: Adult Skills for Life participation (Numeracy) Participation Achievements % Change for  2006/07 to  2006/07 2007/08 2007/08 2006/07 Shropshire           5,877          5,271 ‐10%                     3,518 Staffordshire         13,407        14,985 12%                     7,978 Black Country         13,967        14,826 6%                     7,642 Birmingham & Solihull         16,953        18,808 11%                     8,751 Herefordshire and Worcester           7,999          7,501 ‐6%                     4,873 Coventy & Warwickshire         11,324        11,568 2%                     5,863 Total WM Activity         69,527        72,959 5%                 38,625 Source: WM Performance Reports & National ad hoc or scorecard, alternative Targets cube This information relates to the identification of adults aged 19+ participating and achieving in adult literacy learning at Level one and above, numeracy entry Level three and above (based on the Leitch Functional Skills definitions) The literacy participation data identifies variation across the region resulting in an overall increase of 4% and numeracy participation with an overall increase of 5%. The overall increases in adult literacy and numeracy participation represents the positive movement to nationally accredited literacy and numeracy qualifications for adults. The regional expectation is that adult literacy and numeracy Levels will continue to increase in line with the regional focus on accredited literacy and numeracy learning, encouragement for learners to engage with both literacy and numeracy and boosting overall participation in numeracy. There is an expectation that full achievement data for 07/08 will reflect participation data trends. Within the West Midlands, there is a continued need to increase Levels of adult participation and achievement in Skills for Life and support achievement of Leitch functional skills Levels. 70
    • 3.2.4 OLASS Table 27: West Midlands OLASS Adults in custody % Change for  2006/07 to  Prison LLSC 2006/07 2007/08 * 2007/08 Shropshire               824                2,324 Staffordshire             2,394                2,844 Black Country N/A N/A Birmingham & Solihull             2,826                2,324 Herefordshire and Worcester             2,513                2,638 Coventry & Warwickshire N/A N/A Total WM Activity             8,557              10,130 National Benchmark Source: WM Regional Performance Reports OLASS & National ad hoc or scorecard,  alternative Targets cube(ILR 2006/07 F05, U05, W15 & S12 updated and 2007/08  F04,U04, W12 and S12)  During 2007/08 HMP Featherstone in Staffordshire was given additional funds by the LSC to increase their learning and skills delivery capacity following an expansion at the establishment. This additional funding has enabled more offenders to engage in wider range of learning whilst in custody. Across the region a large number of offenders would have also benefited from the ESF Equal projects that were delivered in 2007/08. The ILR data does show a slight fall in the numbers of adults engaged in learning in Birmingham and Solihull, however we fully expect the numbers to rise in line with the 06/07 once the final data collections have been made. In addition to OLASS funded activity (which covers Skills for Life, Personal and Social Development and Vocational Training) a number of prisons in Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham have mainstream ‘core funded’ vocational training offered by a number of local FE institutions. This additional provision covers a range of vocational trades such as Carpentry and Joinery, Brick Laying, Painting and Decorating and Plumbing. 3.3 Employer 3.3.1.1 Train to Gain (inc. Skills pledge) The West Midlands continues to be best performing region in Train to Gain across all measures. Performance in 2007/08 has significantly exceeded targets in both starts and achievements on the programme. Within the West Midlands since the start of Train to Gain (April 2006); There have been 78,221 learner starts on full Level 2, full Level 3 and Skills for Life qualifications, as at July 2008. Actual learner starts and achievements are shown by academic year in the table below. Table 28: West Midlands and National cumulative Train to Gain starts since April 2006 Cumulative Starts 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 Total West Midlands 4,651 26,184 47,383 78,221 National 33,000 213,836 331,957 578,800 Source: TRS Reports 71
    • Period 12 (July 2008 data) performance shows there are now 39,020 Level 2/Level 3 Jumper starts which is 115 % of the regional target for Level 2 (inclusive of Level 3 Jumpers). Chart W: West Midlands Train to Gain in-learning by Level, by Sector (Tier 1) Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care Level 4 Arts, Media and Publishing Level 3 Level 2 Business, Administration and Law Skills for Life Construction, Planning and the Built Environment Education and Training Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Health, Public Services and Care Information and Communication Technology Languages, Literature and Culture Leisure, Travel and Tourism Preparation for Life and Work Retail and Commercial Enterprise Science and Mathematics 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 In-learning Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports The chart above shows a sector split by sector subject area only. Detailed sector analysis using qualifications regarded relevant to specific industrial sectors can be found in the sector intelligence sheets section. A Regional quality improvement plan has been produced and approved by Mark Haysom (LSC Chief Executive). This plan identifies specific strategies for generating the additional volumes of activity that will be required to meet the very ambitious growth targets for the programme in 2008/09. The Train to Gain programme itself has been enhanced for 2008/09 through a wide range of increased flexibilities including full funding for repeat Level 2 qualifications and significant relaxations around eligibility on Skills for Life. In addition to the increased flexibilities in the Train to Gain Programme, recently the Skills Secretary John Denham announced new flexibilities for SMEs in 2008/09 and 2009/10. In these new flexibilities the Small businesses will be the focus of £350 million of Government funds to help them train their staff and help them get through the tougher economic climate by building the skills and expertise of their workforce. This new package of support will be delivered through the Train to Gain service. A range of specific sector approaches are being developed between the LSC and Sector Skills Councils. The first of these is with semta (the Sector Skills Council for Engineering and Manufacturing) with the West Midlands LSC leading on the design and implementation arrangements. The LSC and AWM are working in partnership to ensure a smooth transition of the management of the Skills Brokerage Service to the RDA commencing in April 2009. 72
    • 3.3.1.2 Apprenticeships The introduction of Apprenticeships for learners aged 25 and over has had a considerable impact on the number of starts. Robust provider management has also made sure that regional performance in recruitment and retention has made significant strides forward. Table 29: West Midlands Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship 19+ Learners % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin)              502              612                935 22% 53% Staffordshire          1,477          1,733            2,800 17% 62% Black Country          1,590          1,552            2,274 ‐2% 47% Birmingham & Solihull          1,293          1,357            1,774 5% 31% Herefordshire and Worcester              940          1,159            1,468 23% 27% Coventy & Warwickshire          1,005              796            1,649 ‐21% 107% West Midland Funded Total          6,807          7,209          10,900 6% 51% NES WM Activity          1,732          2,124            4,805 23% 126% Total WM Activity          8,539          9,333          15,705 9% 68% National Benchmark        67,948        78,821        113,811 16% 44% Source: ILR 2005/06 W15,2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12  Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Performance in 2007/08 has dramatically improved with a substantial increase in learners aged 19+ starting an Apprenticeship. This 68% increase in starts from 2006/07 to 2007/08 in the West Midlands has surpassed the national picture and reflects the regional drive for Adult Apprenticeships this year, and follows the resurgent interest in the programme. Table 29.1: West Midlands Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship 19+ Success Rates Difference from  Difference for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Office 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 45% 57% 69% 13% 12% Staffordshire 47% 62% 64% 15% 2% Black Country 48% 58% 68% 9% 10% Birmingham & Solihull 43% 60% 65% 17% 5% Herefordshire and Worcester 53% 58% 65% 5% 8% Coventy & Warwickshire 50% 61% 65% 11% 4% West Midland Funded Total 47% 60% 66% 12% 6% NES WM Activity 73% 67% 76% ‐6% 9% Total WM Activity 52% 61% 68% 9% 7% National Benchmark 47% 58% 65% 12% 6% Source: ILR 2005/06 W15,2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12  Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) 73
    • Table 29.2: West Midlands Advanced Apprenticeship 19+ Starts % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin)              174              265                347 52% 31% Staffordshire              572              697            1,316 22% 89% Black Country              641              657                972 2% 48% Birmingham & Solihull              497              586                888 18% 52% Herefordshire and Worcester              379              521                745 37% 43% Coventy & Warwickshire              438              414                840 ‐5% 103% West Midland Funded Total          2,701          3,140            5,108 16% 63% NES WM Activity              656              773            1,264 18% 64% Total WM Activity          3,357          3,913            6,372 17% 63% National Benchmark        27,197        32,120          45,470 18% 42% Source: ILR 2005/06 W15,2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12  Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Table 29.3: West Midlands Advanced Apprenticeship 19+ Success Rates Difference from  Difference for  2005/06 to  2006/07 to  Local Office 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 40% 51% 70% 12% 19% Staffordshire 43% 57% 67% 14% 10% Black Country 44% 53% 69% 10% 16% Birmingham & Solihull 39% 53% 65% 14% 12% Herefordshire and Worcester 47% 52% 63% 5% 11% Coventy & Warwickshire 52% 65% 66% 13% 1% West Midland Funded Total 44% 56% 67% 12% 11% NES WM Activity 80% 71% 78% ‐9% 7% Total WM Activity 52% 60% 70% 8% 10% National Benchmark 41% 56% 64% 15% 9% Source: ILR 2005/06 W15,2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12  Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) Table 29.4: West Midlands Apprenticeship 19+ Starts % change  % Change for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin)              328              347                588 6% 69% Staffordshire              905          1,036            1,484 14% 43% Black Country              949              895            1,302 ‐6% 45% Birmingham & Solihull              796              771                886 ‐3% 15% Herefordshire and Worcester              561              638                723 14% 13% Coventy & Warwickshire              567              382                809 ‐33% 112% West Midland Funded Total          4,106          4,069            5,792 ‐1% 42% NES WM Activity              929          1,351            3,541 45% 162% Total WM Activity          5,035          5,420            9,333 8% 72% National Benchmark        40,751        46,641          68,281 14% 46% Source: ILR 2005/06 W15,2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12  Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) 74
    • Table 29.5: West Midlands Apprenticeship 19+ Success Rates Difference  Difference for  from 2005/06  2006/07 to  Local Office 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08* to 2006/07 2007/08 Shropshire (inc. Telford and Wrekin) 48% 61% 68% 13% 7% Staffordshire 49% 65% 62% 16% ‐3% Black Country 52% 61% 68% 9% 7% Birmingham & Solihull 46% 64% 64% 18% 0% Herefordshire and Worcester 58% 61% 67% 3% 6% Coventy & Warwickshire 50% 58% 64% 9% 6% West Midland Funded Total 50% 62% 65% 12% 3% NES WM Activity 63% 63% 75% 0% 12% Total WM Activity 52% 62% 67% 11% 5% National Benchmark 51% 60% 65% 9% 4% Source: ILR 2005/06 W15,2006/07 W15 and 2007/08 W12  Note: * P12 data (final WBL P15 data collection in December 2008) The success rate figures show that the quality of the Apprenticeship programme has not been lost in the rapid growth in the number of learners. However, the current economic downturn may have implications in regards to apprenticeships in some sectors as employers may scale back recruitment plans and it is likely that the availability of apprenticeship places will reduce. The National Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service will play a critical role in ensuring that those employers who continue to recruit apprentices have the ability to secure those vacancies via this service. Chart X: West Midlands Apprenticeship Adult (19+) starts by Level, by Sector (Tier 1) Agriculture, Horticulture and Level 3 (Advanced Apprenticeship) Animal Care Level 2 (Apprenticeship) Business, Administration and Law Construction, Planning and the Built Environment Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Health, Public Services and Care Information and Communication Technology Leisure, Travel and Tourism Retail and Commercial Enterprise 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 Starts Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports The preceding and following charts shows a sector split by sector subject area only. Detailed sector analysis using qualifications regarded relevant to specific industrial sectors can be found in the sector intelligence sheets section. 75
    • Chart Y: West Midlands Apprenticeship Adult (25+) starts by Level, by Sector (Tier 1) Agriculture, Horticulture and Level 3 (Advanced Apprenticeship) Animal Care Level 2 (Apprenticeship) Business, Administration and Law Construction, Planning and the Built Environment Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Health, Public Services and Care Information and Communication Technology Leisure, Travel and Tourism Retail and Commercial Enterprise 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 1,400 1,600 Starts Source: West Midlands Regional Performance Reports and Corporate Reports 3.4 Quality and Provider Development 3.4.1 Framework for Excellence West Midlands Pilot Project Following a three month trial and testing period the National pilot project officially began in June 2007. This was supported by 9 West Midland providers, mainly colleges and work-based learning providers Table 30: Representation by provider type in the West Midlands Former General Higher Sixth Independent Specialist Other Total External Further Education Form Specialist Designated Work- Institution Education Institution College College College based College Learning 0 2 0 3 1 1 2 9 In April 2008, all pilot providers received their Framework scores and Overall Performance Ratings (OPRs) for the pilot exercise and in May 2008, the LSC produced a Pilot Evaluation Report (http://ffe.lsc.gov.uk/publications/Framework-for- Excellence-Pilot-Evaluation-Report.htm). 76
    • Framework for Excellence Version 1 From June 2008, Version 1 of the Framework applies to all FE, tertiary, sixth form, agricultural and horticultural, and art and design colleges, and to private training providers that deliver Apprenticeships, Train to Gain and other LSC employer responsiveness-funded provision. Version 1 framework scores will be published in May 2009. Framework for Excellence Version 2 From June 2009 version 2 of the framework applies to Independent Specialist Colleges, LAs Schools, ACL, OLASS and former external institutions. Pilots are running during the 2008/09. We have 13 providers in the West Midlands participating in the pilot. The Training Quality Standard (TQS) T he Training Quality Standard is an assessment framework and an assessment and certification process which has been designed to recognise and celebrate the best organisations delivering training and development solutions to employers. The Training Quality Standard has been designed to reflect employers' priorities and expectations in sourcing training and development solutions, and the practices of the organisations proven to be the best at delivering them. For providers in the possession of the Training Quality Standard (TQS) accreditation and with at least six months left of that accreditation, at the beginning of an academic/Framework for Excellence year will be automatically awarded an outstanding grade for the Employer Responsiveness dimension for Framework for Excellence. In the West Midlands we currently have four providers who have achieved the Quality Standard Award, Three general FE colleges and One Workbased Learning (WBL) provider in Coventry and Warwickshire, Black Country and Shropshire. 3.4.2 Inspection Inspection – FE A total of 23 colleges were inspected under new Ofsted arrangements between 1 April 2007 and 31 August 2008. Five colleges were judged overall Outstanding, 11 overall Good, 5 overall Satisfactory and 2 overall Inadequate. Two colleges underwent a full re-inspection having previously been judged overall Inadequate. Throughout the second cycle of inspection there has been an improving trend in overall effectiveness with 71% of colleges judged to be overall good or better. WBL Inspection From 1st April 2007 under new Ofsted, WBL inspections and re-inspections have totalled 27. Most learners based with these providers are on apprenticeship programmes. Throughout the second cycle there has been an improving trend, with 11% of the 27 inspections and re-inspections being judged as excellent. 77
    • 3.4.3 Minimum Levels of Performance Minimum Levels of Performance - FE For 2007/08, three colleges received a Notice to Improve for long course provision including one college for short course provision. One ACL provider also received a Notice for short course provision WBL Minimum Levels of Performance The analysis of 2006-2007 data applied to the MLP threshold of 45% affected 2,662 learners with a cash value of £7,161,332 regionally. Table 32: West Midlands Sector impact analysis of provision identified as below the 45% threshold (2006 and 2007) Apprenticeship Sector Learners and proportion of sector provision under MLP (2006/2007 data) 220 Hospitality and Catering 557 36% 106 Engineering 326 17% 236 Health and Social Care 319 33% 217 Hairdressing 278 12% 105 Electro technical 196 20% 116 Construction 180 11% 104 Children’s Care 177 8% 315 Dental Nursing 130 78% 112 Retail 89 15% 328 Vehicle Maintenance 62 15% 260 Management 39 17% 235 Automotive 34 22% 231 Active Leisure and Learning 21 4% 254 Land Based Service 13 13% 276 Textiles 12 33% 247 Equine 12 23% 292 IT Services and 12 7% Development 201 Accountancy 11 2% 113 Metals Industries 10 36% 227 Printing 10 16% 267 Distribution and 10 9% Warehousing 327 Vehicle Fitting 7 17% 262 Animal Care 2 11% Train to Gain While the indicative minimum Level of performance threshold for Train to Gain has been set for 65% success rate in 2008/2009, data is currently being processed and sampled for accuracy given that trend data can only be analysed using available pilot and transition data. 78
    • ISP Inspection Independent Specialist Colleges mainly provide education for young people with learning difficulties and/or other disabilities. During the Inspection Cycle 2 (September 2005 – August 2009) 10 inspections have been completed. For Overall Effectiveness:1 was judged outstanding; 1 Good; 7 Satisfactory; and 1 as inadequate. 3.4.4 Health and Safety The Regional Health and Safety Team use a four point scale similar to that used by OFSTED to grade the providers in relation to their health and safety performance. The following table illustrates the percentage of colleges within each performance category in each local area: Table 33: Provider Grades Staffordshire Shropshire Birmingham Herefordshire Coventry Black and Solihull Worcestershire Warwickshire Country Outstanding 12.5% 0% 0% 25% 0% 0% Good 50% 16% 15% 0% 0% 16% Satisfactory 37% 84% 85% 75% 100% 84% Inadequate 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% Source: West Midlands Health and Safety Team (September 2008) At present 6.25% of the regions Colleges are classed as Outstanding for Health and Safety management arrangements, whilst 16% of Colleges are within the Good category, 77% are classed as satisfactory, and there are none in the inadequate category. 79
    • 4 Key Regional Strategies 4.1 The 14-19 Strategy During 2005 the Government published the Implementation Plan for 14-19, setting out the direction of travel and challenges for: local authorities (as strategic leads for 14-19), for the LSC (as the planning and commissioners of 16-18 provision) and to 14-19 partnerships locally to deliver the reform agenda. The broad themes within that Implementation Plan (which has been refreshed in October 2008) are evident in a number of critical policies and practices that have lead to the current Education and Skills Bill. The raising of the participation age (and other aspects contained with in the Bill) means: • A child starting secondary school at 11 in autumn 2008 will continue with education and training until 17 (a child starting in 2009 will continue until 18). • At age 14, in school that child will be able to take: A Diploma, GCSEs, or a Young Apprenticeship – alongside core subjects • At 16, in school, college or training provider that child will be able to take: A Diploma, A-Levels, or an Apprenticeship Or go to work with some elements of training • At 18, that child will be qualified to go on into skilled work or higher education. Alongside these choices, policy for those learners below ‘Level 2’ has seen the development of ‘Progression Pathways’ for 14-19 year old learners supporting a drive towards a Skills for Life and a first full Level 2 building on the portable and unitised qualifications emerging from another key driver – the ‘Qualification and Curriculum Framework’. All these changes provide the necessary focus on supporting those Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) in the West Midlands back into participation, through impartial information advice and guidance, Area Prospectuses and the use of available resources to target geographical areas and key client groups. At the centre of the 14-19 reforms is collaboration. Since the publication of the implementation plan this has been in the form of consortia of West Midlands providers to deliver the curriculum (schools, colleges, training providers, employers, local authorities, the LSC and Connexions). Reforms will continue to focus on participation and learner entitlements in this way but through the White Paper: ‘Raising Expectation’ the reform of the delivery structures will integrate all services for Children and Young People, enabling ‘the system’ to deliver. Once again collaboration will be a core feature of these changes as local authorities (sub-regionally and regionally) plan and commission to ensure 100% of the cohort has access to good quality, relevant provision. 80
    • 4.2 Regional Economic Strategy The West Midlands Economic Strategy ‘Connecting to Success’ was launched in December 2007 and sets the framework for the long term sustainable economic growth of the region. The new WMES is structured around three key components of the economy Business, Place and People: • Business refers to the contribution that “businesses” (a term used in its widest sense and including social enterprises and not for profit organisations) makes to the productivity and growth of the regional economy, and to the demand for employment of the region’s workforce • Place focuses on the role of place in both attracting and enabling economic growth (i.e. high quality locations and environments which encourage businesses and a highly skilled workforce) • People refers to the contribution of the region’s population and their skills to the sustainable growth and increased productivity of the West Midlands economy and to ensuring that everyone in the region has the opportunity to develop to their full potential. The West Midlands Economic Strategy (WMES) Delivery Framework, launched on the 24 June 2008, provides the ‘roadmap’ for delivering the objectives of Connecting to Success. The Delivery Framework deals with the how and the who – it sets the broad framework for how the Strategy will be delivered and by whom. It is a rolling three- year framework which will be updated on an annual basis. The objectives of the strategy under these key components are as follows: Business • Seizing market opportunities • Improving competitiveness • Harnessing knowledge Place • Birmingham competing as a global city • Improving infrastructure • Sustainable communities People • Sustainable living • Raising ambitions and aspirations • Achieving full potential and opportunities for all Other key messages of interest to the LSC from the WMES are related to productivity and supply and demand for skills, for example: • Raising productivity presents the greatest challenge for the region. The productivity of an economy is partly determined by its industrial structure, and by five key ‘drivers’ – innovation, skills, enterprise, investment and competition. • On both supply and demand for skills, and the operation of the labour market, the region’s performance has improved significantly over recent years. However, improvements in other regions mean that the gap in performance between the best performing regions and the West Midlands has failed to narrow. 81
    • Qualifications are not the only measures of skills but the region performs poorly on school-Level attainment, Levels of qualifications in the workforce, graduate retention, leadership and management, work-based training and Levels of economic activity. • The need to improve skill Levels is probably the number one challenge facing the West Midlands. Although some progress has been made over the last few years, we still have a relatively weak demand for skilled people from our employers and substantial numbers of poorly qualified people in the labour market, relatively high Levels of economic inactivity and too few people qualified to degree Level. 4.3 Regional Spatial Strategy The West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy sets an ambitious agenda and covers subjects ranging from housing, economic development and the built, historic and natural environment, to renewable energy, minerals, waste and transport. The Strategy also guides the preparation of local authority development plans and local transport plans. It incorporates the Regional Transport Strategy. The strategy allows local authorities to deliver coherent regional development. The Strategy can be broadly summarised as enabling all parts of the Region to sustainably meet their own needs, in a mutually supportive way. Protecting and enhancing the Region’s environmental assets, and where appropriate making economic use of them, together with the prudent use of natural resources. Four major challenges are identified for the Region: • Urban Renaissance – developing the Major Urban Areas (MUAs) in such a way that they can increasingly meet their own economic and social needs in order to counter the unsustainable outward movement of people and jobs facilitated by previous strategies; • Rural Renaissance – addressing more effectively the major changes which are challenging the traditional roles of rural areas and the countryside; • Diversifying and modernising the Region’s economy – ensuring that opportunities for growth are linked to meeting needs and that they help reduce social exclusion • Modernising the transport infrastructure of the West Midlands – supporting the sustainable development of the Region. The Review of sub-national economic development and regeneration (or Sub National Review) recommends that there should be a single integrated regional strategy which sets out the economic, social and environmental objectives for each region, formed by bringing together the Regional Economic Strategy and the Regional Spatial Strategy and founded on a strong analytical base which takes account of the different needs of the sub-regions within each region. It should also have the support of local authorities, businesses and other partners from within the region, as well as from central government departments and agencies. This will be the region’s strategy and should act as the focus for economic development within the region, with national agencies, regional bodies, sub-regional tiers and local authorities all working together to achieve the agreed objectives. The new regional strategy is designed to ensure closer alignment between economic and spatial planning to support sustainable economic growth. It will build on the strong foundations laid by the existing regional economic strategies and regional spatial strategies. Other regional strategies, such as sustainable development frameworks, regional cultural strategies and the regional housing and transport strategies are expected to be integrated into the new strategies. This will provide the 82
    • opportunity to take a strategic overview of the region’s activity to drive forward economic development and regeneration, taking account of economic geography. The Government is intending to bring forward legislation that would create a statutory requirement for each region to have a regional strategy. The regional strategy would also be part of the statutory development plan which is the framework against which local planning authorities determine planning applications for individual development proposals. 4.4 Regional Skills Action Plan The West Midlands Skills Action Plan was launched in March 2008 by Liam Byrne Minister of State and Minister for the West Midlands. It is a three year plan primarily written as a public statement for key stakeholders for which they will be held accountable. It is set within the region’s economic goals and the 2020 ambitions of the Leitch Review of Skills. The Skills Action Plan calls for a step change in the region’s skills performance, based on meeting the targets set in the Leitch Review of Skills. To realise the ambitions of the Skills Action Plan and the Leitch Review represents a major challenge to all stakeholders in the West Midlands. By 2020 422,000 more working age adults need to have attained Level 1 or above in literacy, 567,000 more need to have attained entry Level 3 or above in numeracy, 695,000 more need to be qualified to Level 2 or above and 407,000 more need to be qualified to Level 4 or above. The challenge is particularly significant in a number of urban areas and among the region’s disadvantaged groups and communities with regard to the Level 2 targets and especially the Level 4 targets. Even if the ambition to achieve a step change in skills performance is achieved, the pace of improvement will vary significantly across the region. Unless there is a particular emphasis on improving qualification attainment in disadvantaged areas of the region those who are already relatively well qualified continue to be most likely to improve their qualification Levels and disadvantaged areas and groups will fall further behind. It is estimated that realising the ambitions in the plan would result in significant benefits for the regional economy with an increase of one percentage point in the region’s employment rate, (30%) and an increase in GVA per employee from a current £35,700 (10% lower than the current UK average) to £37,500 in 2020 (6% lower than the UK average) by 2020. Growth in GVA is also likely to vary widely by sector. While significant increases in GVA are expected in fast growing, high value added sectors such as IT and telecoms, health and social care, construction, transport and utilities where shortages of skilled and qualified staff have been a constraint on growth, more modest growth is expected in manufacturing industries typically dominated by relatively low value- added activity. The Public Sector Skills Challenge is a key element in delivering the targets of the Skills Action Plan. In September 2007, Liam Byrne, the then Minister for the West Midlands, issued a challenge to all public sector employers across the West Midlands to increase skills and productivity and to accelerate the regeneration of local communities. The LSC West Midlands has accepted this challenge and has made a public commitment to boost the skills of its employees by signing up to the Public Service Skills Challenge. 83
    • Targets and Impact 2010 in the West Midlands Region: Target - Up skill 75,000 public service employees to Level 2 Impact - Productivity and service improvements across public services - Major contribution to raising the region’s skill base and improving its overall competitiveness - Closing the regional skills gap by 15% Target- Increase the proportion of young adults under 25 employed in public services by 25% with 8,000 new Apprenticeships across the region Impact - Increase the number of young people taking up Apprenticeship by 20% - Major contribution to reducing the number of NEET Target - Recruit 10,000 local people not in work into entry level and essential occupations Impact - Major reductions in Worklessness in deprived neighbourhoods and communities - Significant contribution to LA and partners LAA priorities and targets Out of 140 public sector employers in target in the region, 75 employers are signed for the Public Sector Skills challenge. Follow up meetings are taking place with those employers who have shown interest in the challenge. Action plans being developed and Specialist Brokers are assigned to support implementation of action plans. 4.5 The West Midlands Train to Gain Plan for Growth “Improvement Plan” The West Midlands Train to Gain Plan for Growth Improvement Plan 2007--2011 outlines the following key actions that the region will be taking to support the delivery of the National Train to Gain ‘Plan for Growth’ in a regional context within the 4 key areas; 1. A new strong offer to employers. 2. A strong network of Train to Gain providers. 3. An intensified approach to lifting performance and ensuring consistency. 4. Clearer communications on the Train to Gain service and why employers need to invest more. The West Midlands region has identified the following key issues for the delivery of the Plan for Growth in the West Midlands; • Provider capacity and quality improvement activity focused on a number of key providers, in particular FE colleges; • The ongoing development of a market segmentation model utilising the engagement channels and resources of key partner organisations with a differentiated approach by employer size and sector; 84
    • • The establishment of a single regional employer database to be used for employer engagement co-ordination and targeting purposes; • Better internal LSC working through greater clarity of roles and responsibilities across regional functions and improved performance management through a risk based approach; and • Utilising data and analysis to understand performance variability and identify quality improvement opportunities. To date the region has created a wide range of employer engagement mechanisms with key partners across the region and views the coordination and consolidation of these arrangements as a key requirement for delivering the Plan for Growth. The region has established strong communication and engagement channels with a wide range of regional partners including – Chambers of Commerce, Providers, Advantage West Midlands, CBI, EEF and Skills for Business Network. The LSC and Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) have agreed ‘new flexibilities’ for the publicly funded element of Train to Gain. These new flexibilities are outlined in the National Train to Gain ‘Plan for Growth which was published in November 2007. These new flexibilities includes making volunteers eligible for Train to Gain support; positioning Apprenticeships firmly within the Train to Gain ‘offer’; and better supporting those wishing to return to work such as those on incapacity benefits and prisoners on work programmes nearing release. The new changes represent a further significant improvement to Train to Gain and will support the rapid expansion of the service confirming its major role in delivering the Government’s skills strategy and ambitions. In addition to the above new flexibilities, recently the Skills Secretary John Denham announced that small businesses will be the focus of £350 million of Government funds to help them train their staff. The key elements of the £350m Train to Gain package are: • Relaxing the rules to allow funding for "bite-sized chunks" - small units or modules of qualifications in subjects known to be important to SMEs • Help for groups of SMEs located together in business parks so that they can increase their purchasing power and share resources • Extending DIUS's successful leadership and management programme to SMEs • Relaxing the rules to allow workers to get training up to Level 2 even if they already have a previous qualification at this Level • Brokers to offer tried and tested skills diagnostics and audits so companies can have their training needs more accurately identified • New communications campaign to begin in November this year to underline the benefits of upskilling and reskilling and the breadth of the support on offer from Government. These flexibilities are designed to help small businesses get through the tougher economic climate by building the skills and expertise of their workforce, the new package of support will be delivered through the Train to Gain service. 4.6 Integrated Employment and Skills The joint DWP and DIUS Work Skills document published in June 2008 set an ambitious target of supporting 100,000 individuals into sustainable employment and achievement of a recognised qualification by 2010/2011 85
    • Delivering the ambition • Establishment of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills • Focus on skills that lead to jobs • Professional and seamless service through new Adult Advancement Careers Service (AACS) • Provide a service, driven by customers and employers • Develop skills for sustainable employment (with progression for those who can) Delivery Model The national delivery model for Integrated Employment and Skills is the ‘end to end’ model that West Midlands started to implement successfully last year through the City Strategy Pathfinder. The model has the following core elements that must be delivered to national consistent standards Single Client entitlement based on: • Enhanced Basic Skills screening tools • Enhanced referral process • Skills Health Check • Skills Accounts • Careers Advancement Advice and Guidance • Support to access relevant job opportunities • Relevant and responsive provision Single employer Offer • Tailored recruitment including vacancy advertising • Job Scoping and individual assessment for recruitment matching • Free training for Skills for Life and Level 2 • Wider Train to Gain services improving employee skills and business performance • Active involvement in the design of pre- and post recruitment training programmes • Work Trials • Apprenticeships – Youth and Adult To compliment the national consistent elements ‘local enhancements’ can be added. In the West Midlands we have included: • Specific spatial targeting • Maximising leverage and contributions from partners • Focussed response to large scale recruitments • Focussed response to redundancies These will be developed and added to in line with economic needs. West Midlands Trials From the 29th September the West Midlands will be trialling the following aspects of Integrated Employment and Skills for new JCP claimants aged 18+ Co-location of Next Steps Advisors within JCP offices Sign posting and/or referral to Careers Advice services Skills Health Check – assisted diagnostic assessment of skills required to meet employment aspirations for those individuals that require 86
    • Skills Action Plan – steps to be taken to meet skills needed for sustainable employment Enhanced referral processes Responsive and flexible provision to meet the skills needs of individuals and employers For the period September 2008 to March 2009 we will also be trialling the following: • National Voluntary Training Pathfinder • Skills Accounts • IES for Offenders • Co-commissioning with DWP • Adult Advice Prototypes • Pre-employment Train to Gain • Managing Information across Partners (MIAP) 4.6.1 City regions The Birmingham, Coventry and Black Country City Region comprise of 8 Local Authorities, Job Centre Plus, AWM and LSC. The focus of the City Region is 5 key areas: 1. Employment and Skills 2. Economic Development and Investment 3. Housing ad growth renewal 4. Transport 5. Quality of Life The LSC is the lead for the Employment and Skills element with a shared strategy to tackle highly localised pockets of worklessness, poverty, low skills and poor health by coming together as a consortium, align efforts behind shared priorities, more freedom to innovate and tailor services in response to local needs. Central to this work is the City Strategy Pathfinder that started in June 2007 to focus on 55 wards where unemployment accounts for 42% of the regions unemployment. The Pathfinder has been extended for a further two years and new targets will be agreed by the end of March 2009. Central to the achievement of City Strategies will be ensuring the ‘local enhancements’ of Integrated Employment and Skills focuses on these particular wards. 4.6.2 JCP and LSC joint delivery plans Last year we were required to set out our joint planning against a national format. As we are now an Integrated Employment and Skills trial area we are no longer required to meet the national requirements or to report on a national basis. However joint planning and working with JCP is integral to all our work and to the achievement of the Work Skills target and therefore remains at the top of our agenda. Our priorities will include embedding Integrated Employment and Skills into the full range of our work, including: • Aligning provision to meet both the needs of individuals and employers • Ensuring skills is seen as a means of achieving sustainable employment • Progression into Train to Gain • Spatial targeting of provision • Adult advancement and Careers Service • Offenders skills and employment 87
    • 4.6.3 Local Area Agreements / Multi Area Agreements Local Area Agreements As the City Region and City Strategy agenda has gained momentum over the last 12 months the LAA is seen as a significant contributory element to the regional agenda. The LSC role has played a significant role with key partners in developing and implementing the LAA targets that focus on employment and skills. The LSC Economic Development teams work on aligning initiatives and funding from a range of organisations to focus on the employment and skills agenda is central to the achievement of LAA targets and the contribution the LSC makes to the wider City Region agenda. Multi Area Agreements The Government’s policy document ‘Work Skills’ placed MAAs at the heart of a new, devolved and local driven system. It states: ‘The MAA process will normally be the means by which DWP and DIUS will conduct any dialogues with local areas about devolving responsibilities’ The City Region Board is now exploring proposals for taking an MAA for the City Region. The proposals are predicated and conditional on devolved powers being given to the City Region partners including delegated responsibilities for commissioning national programmes together with substantial flexibility in the use of programmes/budgets. Delivery of the existing LAA targets will be the key objective of the MAA as these will now be difficult to achieve as a result of the economic downturn. The approval of an MAA will be conditional on strengthening employer involvement and leadership. Therefore the role Employment and Skills Boards will be central to our success. 4.7 National Apprenticeship Service – West Midlands Regional Action Plan The VMS will be launched in December 2008 and the NAS will be functional by April 2009. Pending the formal establishment of this organisation, the LSC created a NAS Project Team in September 2008 to develop the initial processes and begin planning for the delivery of the NAS fieldforce approach in the West Midlands. The strategic priorities for the NAS Project Team include: Launching the Vacancy Matching Service by December 2008 to include: Forming and training the VMS Project Team, which will support the delivery and management of the web-based Vacancy Matching System. Creating the business processes and referral mechanisms aligned to the VMS, ensuring learner applicants, employers and providers are supported through the end-to-end matching process against specified timescales. 88
    • Developing and managing appropriate data flows, allowing improved tracking of individuals, employers and providers; using the same to refine engagement strategies. Maximising the number of employer and provider vacancies routed through the VMS. Establishing the National Apprenticeship Service by April 2009, to include: Forming and training the NAS Employer Support Team, providing targetted intervention and support to employers and providers and aiming to maximise employer engagement with the NAS/VMS. Working with representative groups, such as the CBI, Chambers of Commerce, Employment and Skills Boards, Group Training Associations, RDA Brokerage Service and Trade Unions to promote and encourage take-up of Apprenticeships. Forming and training the NAS Learner Support Team, providing targetted intervention and support to learners, parents/carers and their advisors. Working with appropriate stakeholders and intermediaries, such as personal advisors in Connexions, School Careers Services, JobCentre Plus and Nextstep, to promote awareness and uptake of the Apprenticeship route. Developing and delivering the West Midlands Apprenticeships Plan for Growth by January 2009, capturing the above strategies and reflecting the framework outlined in the national NAS Delivery Plan, along with bespoke actions aligned to the needs of the West Midlands. These will include: Targetted marketing and communications campaigns, covering all key audiences, influencers and media, building upon the national marketing campaign which will commence in early 2009. Developing innovative and radical new approaches to learner and employer engagement with Apprenticeships, such as wage compensation trials for SMEs and ’over-training’ pilots. Providing dedicated resource to focus upon changing attitudes and behaviour towards Apprenticeships and removing barriers to take-up; for example, using the NAS field-force to uphold the new quality standards for careers advice and guidance, ensuring the Apprenticeship ’entitlement’ features in the 14-19 offer to all young people on a consistent basis across the region. Increasing the size, scope and success of the Apprenticeship programme. By March 2009, building upon the above strategies, this will include: Developing capacity-building and commissioning plans designed to deliver significant expansion to the programme. Agreeing performance trajectories for the West Midlands aligned to the Regional Skills Action Plan and national growth assumptions, including the ’1 in 5’ aspiration. Reviewing and streamling performance management, contracting and quality support arrangements across the region, ensuring resource and intervention is directed to those areas which most need it. Exploring innovative ways to increase the reach of the Apprenticeship programme into areas – in terms of geography, business sector, economic and social deprivation, gender and race - which have historically not engaged with it. 89
    • 4.8 Quality Strategy The West Midlands Quality Strategy supports the creation of a world class system which is responsive to employers and learners by building on the good practice in existence within the sub regions. It will seek to expand excellent provision, intervene to tackle under performance and provide regional consistency. It is derived from the Annual Statement of Priorities and supports the National Improvement Strategy – Pursuing Excellence for the FE sector. It covers a wide range of colleges and providers in the West Midlands. Working through the West Midlands Quality Forum we will support Partnership Teams to develop provider capacity for sustained improvement through effective Self Assessment and Quality Improvement planning. Through a risk proportionate approach we will identify priority providers and agree with LSIS appropriate support activities. We will provide support in the use of performance data including: New Measures of Success, Minimum Levels of Performance, Improvement Indicators and findings of inspection to ensure that we invest only in provision that is excellent or good and eliminate inadequate provision. 4.8.1 Framework for Excellence Through Framework for Excellence, we will introduce a comprehensive approach to performance management across the further education sector where providers will strive for excellent standards in their provision in readiness for self regulation reforms. An ongoing programme of capacity building, knowledge and skills events will support staff throughout the roll-out of the Framework. 4.8.2 Single Voice The strategy supports the establishment of an effective and efficient Single Voice for self regulation and its key operational objectives. Namely, • Enhancing the sector’s capacity for self improvement • Responsiveness to the needs of learners and employers • Simplification of the regulatory landscape 4.8.3 Self regulation The strategy supports the move to a self-regulating further education (FE) system. In particular, the Framework for Excellence will support the move by enabling all stakeholders to have access to timely, relevant, robust and reliable information about the performance of each provider. It further addresses the recommendation that the FE system should transform itself to become responsive to the demand from learners and employers for world-class skills. 4.8.4 Health and Safety The Regional Health and Safety Team’s key improvement objective over the next 12 months is to increase the number of Colleges and training providers in Outstanding and Good for Health and Safety management from the present regional average of 18% up to 25%. The team have already commenced this strategy by completing provider briefings to identify which providers are committed to making the necessary improvements and what improvements are required. The team will continue to visit those providers that are committed to making improvement to their present Health and Safety 90
    • performance category, to specifically provide support with the development of audit and review processes where necessary, and self assessment report development. Where senior management commitment has been identified as a barrier to improvement Advisors will engage with partnership advisors and managers to reinforce the importance of Health and Safety as a strategic management issue to the provider. The Regional Health & Safety Manager and Learning and Quality Director have been in dialogue with QIA to negotiate support to facilitate Health & Safety improvement within the provider network where appropriate. Providers presently assessed as being Inadequate for their Health and Safety management arrangements will be supported by the Health and Safety Advisors and partnership staff until the necessary improvements have been made. 4.9 Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities (LLDD) Following the LSC’s publication of Learning for Living and Work in October 2006, the LSC has continued to improve education and training opportunities for people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities through national, regional and local work. Learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities continue to be a priority group for the LSC. Within this strategy, we commit to developing a fit for purpose funding system that is learner focused, equitable across all areas of the Further Education (FE) sector and provides appropriate Levels of support for learning. This work continues to be taken forward involving LSC colleagues and national representatives from all key partner organisations. The Learning for Living and Work West Midlands Implementation Plan was launched at a regional supported employment conference in March 2007 and revised and re- issued in September 2008. This document continues to outline the key strands of learning for living and work and how the West Midlands LSC is taking these forward. As a minimum, we are committed to maintaining the numbers of learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities in Further Education and increasing the availability of local provision where appropriate. 4.9.1 LLDD planning Planning for learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities is fully integrated into the LSC’s business cycle and 14-19 governance arrangements with a sub group for LLDD. Regionally we have established a work stream from the LSC/DCS Joint Strategic Forum to specifically look at the planning and funding arrangements for learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities in line with the Machinery of Government transition arrangements. Further activity will include a workshop for Local Authority colleagues in autumn 2008 to fully understand the process. In addition to this, regionally and locally we are seeking to better use the S140 data that Connexions and Local Authorities submit to the department to enable us to plan provision more effectively and improve transition for this group of learners. To support the planning and business cycle we have established a planning group to look at how additional learning support funds were allocated in 2008/09. We are currently analysing ILR data to produce a toolkit that can be used in provider 91
    • dialogue to better inform future allocations and ensure that these funds are effectively meeting the needs of the learners. Provider dialogue now takes place with all providers, including those independent specialist providers which cater for learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities who are unable to access provision locally. 4.9.2 Learning for Living and Work Developmental Activity In 2007-08 and 2008-09 the West Midlands LSC had an allocation of development funds to be used to take forward Learning for Living and Work and invest in LSC funded provision. During 2007-08 some funding was used to improve transition from Further Education into supported employment and a guide for further education providers was produced and launched on the LSC website. A project was also delivered to specifically improve the provision for learners on the autistic spectrum to learn locally and succeed and progress with further education. Projects are just beginning to be contracted using 2008-09 funds and include a wide range of projects around developing local provision, building capacity and CPD in further education colleges and improving transition for this group of learners. All of these projects will be evaluated to demonstrate good practice and disseminated and shared across the West Midlands 4.10 Economic Development and Regeneration Working with Advantage West Midlands and Local Authorities the LSC has developed an understanding of economic development, inward investment and physical regeneration plans and is engaging in the project planning and development process to identify employment and skills requirements. We will continue to work with local authorities, alongside Jobcentre Plus to agree the alignment of mainstream programmes and funding with a particular focus on skills and employment opportunities for local people through: • embedding the Integrated and Skills System with partners • ensuring sub-regional economic strategies reflect the skills and employment agenda, fits with Local Area Agreements, working with key stakeholders to ensure alignment and effectiveness • aligning skills and employment with economic development, physical developments, health and housing 92
    • 4.11 Skills for Life The West Midlands Skills for Life strategy sits within the context of the national Skills for Life strategy to improve the literacy, numeracy and language skills of adults aged 16-60. The national strategy has a focus on improving engagement, responsiveness, quality, outcomes and achievement for priority groups of adults. In the West Midlands our key priorities are: • Implementing a West Midlands regional strategy for numeracy • Increasing the achievement of skills for life qualifications by unemployed people through alignment of LSC and JCP provision • Improving the skills for life Levels of prisoners and offenders supervised in the community • Ensuring the delivery of the Skills for Life through the Train to Gain offer to employers • Targeting engagement and delivery activity to improve skills for life for groups in community settings Within the region there is already substantial good practice in Skills for Life, although the quality of delivery across the provider base is still variable. Working with other agencies, there will be a focus on consolidating good practice and refocusing where necessary to ensure successful impact and achievement to 2010 as a milestone to the 2020 Leitch functional skills aspirations. We need to create a “pull through” effect with progression onto the next Level of achievement particularly for those people not in work. Additional resource such as Skills for Jobs and ESF is used to enhance mainstream Skills for Life provision with employability focus both for those in work and needing to access employment. Overall figures put the West Midlands close to national averages for adult basic skills Levels, but this masks a substantial variation. The largest need is concentrated in the urban areas of Birmingham, Coventry and The Black Country which align with City Strategies. There are rural ‘hotspots’ which need to be addressed. Numeracy is a particular priority for the region. There is a need to increase engagement in numeracy learning and achievement. 4.11.1 English for Speakers of Other Languages The LSC will support Providers to understand the new context for ESOL and implementation of key messages as a result of the 2007 ESOL consultation ‘Focussing English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) on Community Cohesion’. To support delivery of the wider Train to Gain Service there is a need develop employers’ understanding of ESOL funding and ESOL qualifications options. 4.12 Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) In developing the West Midlands regional strategy for the development of the Offender Learning and Skills Service, the Learning and Skills Council recognises the importance of bringing together policy priorities from both a criminal justice and learning and skills perspective. This plan reflects the common purpose of both perspectives and demonstrates a commitment to improving education and training provision, purposeful rehabilitation and resettlement activities. It ensures inclusive learning opportunities and high quality provision for the offender client group in both custodial and community settings. 93
    • Offenders in prisons, and those supervised in the community, should have access to learning and skills, which enable them to gain the skills and qualifications they need to hold down a job as well as perform a positive role in society. It is our intention that the content and quality of learning programmes for all offenders are comparable to any other LSC funded provision. Programmes should meet both vocational and skills for life needs with an aspiration to achieve at least a Level two qualification. It is critical that service delivery to this client group is aligned with the broader worklessness agenda and the implementation of Leitch. More specifically offender learning operates within the Next Steps policy context and to this end the region is a Test Bed region for the implementation of this strategy. Our vision for Next Steps (Test Bed) is the transformation of services offered to offenders in order to provide coherent and appropriately sequenced interventions. The LSC has set out its national priorities in publishing ‘Offender Learning; the Way Forward’ which details the proposals for the planning and funding of offender learning in the future. These proposals are underpinned by two main strategies; the use of an offender learning ‘uplift’ in the community and a more differentiated approach in custody based on the type of learner and establishment. The further development of the Next Steps strategy will be based on our successes in the Test Bed. This will include: • Train to Gain • The Virtual Campus • A clear operational plan related to employers and employability • The use of the employability compact Our key regional objectives are as follows: • To continue to develop the offender Train to Gain offer, especially in prison industries and workshops. • To roll out the Virtual Campus and to continue to develop learning content. • To work with Job Centre Plus in order to improve employability and employer engagement. • To ensure an effective process and smooth transition in relation to the procurement of offender learning for 2009/14. • To ensure that the development of the new Integrated Employment and Skills arrangements include offenders as apriority group 4.13 Equality and Diversity Action Plan The West Midlands Single Equality Scheme describes our commitment to placing the promotion of equality and diversity at the centre of every aspect of our work. We will work with providers and colleges to ensure the delivery of the scheme’s aims and to support providers to develop equality and diversity impact measures that set out what improvements they will be making to equality of outcomes for individuals in learning. Progress will be reviewed as part of our on going dialogue. The West Midlands Strategic analysis has identified a range of learners contributing to PSA targets by gender, age, disability and ethnicity. The following EDIM’s have been identified as regional headline priorities: 94
    • TYPE OF PROVISION ANALYSIS WBL Total number of early leavers at 60% Apprenticeships Total number of early leavers at 61% GENDER FE Male participation for 19+ L2 at 36% FE BME male participation for 19+ L2 at 34% SFL BME female achievement at 9% DISABILITY FE Disability unknown at 12% (40,262 learners) * WBL LLDD retention at 21% ETHNICITY SFL BME achievement at 11% Source: ILR Note: * As recorded in the ILR ILR analysis shows that within WBL and Apprenticeship programmes retention is only at 40% and 39% respectively, it is unclear from the data why learners leave early. Data also shows that within WBL LLDD retention is only 21%. 19+ Male participation within FE programmes is much lower than female participation; however success rates are equal to females. Generally in Skills for Life (SfL) achievement rates are quite low however within female learners it is only at 9% and 11% within the BME group. Disability unknown has always been high, further work is needed to reduce this. 4.14 Information Advice and Guidance The new Adult Advancement Careers Service, starting in 2010 will be a one stop shop to help people access information and advice about getting on in work and life. The service will offer: Joined up Advice: Integrating skills advice with other relevant advice an individual may require such as Childcare, employment rights, health A single point of access for public funding: Advice and access on funding to support training and progression in work through Skills Accounts: A range of tools: Provide personal careers and skills diagnostic tools and facilities available, on line, face to face, by telephone. Access to wider sources of support: A more accessible service to suit individual’s circumstance delivered to national consistent standards Close working with partners: The new service will be integral to public services and deliver a seamless service, with Job Centre Plus, employees; Connexions and HE so both young people and adults can find out their options in one place. The LSC has already taken steps towards implementing the Government’s changes to the way in which information, advice and guidance is delivered. We have taken the first step towards the delivery of the new service to national consistent standards by 95
    • moving to a single Prime Contractor within the region and amalgamated with the Learn Direct services. Careers Advisers are co-located in Jobcentre Plus offices to provide the skills advice individuals require to move into sustainable employment. Over the next 12 months we will be trialling skills advice and skills accounts within LSC funded programmes. Additionally we have two Prototypes looking at ways of how skills advice can be brought together with other advice services. The City Region will be trialling skills advice with social housing advice and Staffordshire are looking at ways of amalgamating skills and health advice. Whilst trialling these new ways of working we will continue to offer the embedded IAG services delivered within every learning environment for example, FE, Work Based Learning, Train to Gain, Offender service, Redundancy support packages to ensure learners access the most appropriate learning, remain engaged in their chosen course of learning and achieve a relevant qualification. The Government is providing £4 million up to 2010 to support ten ’prototypes‘ for the new service in specific areas. The prototypes will be the way in which local organisations test a range of different ways of delivering advice in an integrated way. We will learn from the prototypes, assess the pros and cons of alternative approaches and develop from this the final operating model for the new service. There are two ‘prototypes’ in the West Midlands: • Black Country: Advancement advisers ensuring that individuals can quickly access a range of advisory services no matter which organisation they use as an initial point of contact. Partners involved include: Citizen Advice Bureau, Local PCTs, Local Involvement Network, Connexions, nextstep, local colleges, third sector training organisations and a cluster of Registered Social Landlord (RSL) • Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffs: Targeted networks in primary care and social housing settings that place quality assured careers information and guidance at the heart of wider personal support. Partners involved include: Stoke-on-Trent City Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, the Primary Care Trust and the nextstep provider. 4.15 The Third Sector Central government strategy continues to focus on recognising the sector’s role in campaigning, strengthening communities, transforming public services, encouraging social enterprise, and supporting the environment for a healthy Third Sector. Nationally the LSC is developing engagement with the third sector through the work of the National Advisory Group. Developments this year included setting up the National Learning Alliance of Third Sector providers, and publication of a review of our work in relation to the third sector Compact. The West Midlands LSC is represented on the newly formed sub group of the Funding Planning and Performance Committee which focuses on the Third Sector. In the West Midlands we recognise the importance of the sector as an employer and learning provider. We have a regional lead for Third Sector work and a champion for the sector at director Level. In addition there is a lead for the sector in each of our 96
    • sub regions. We have developed a Third Sector engagement strategy to develop our work with the sector in relation to three areas: • The sector as an employer • The sector as a source of expertise • The sector as learning providers We are also developing a communications strategy with the sector. Third Sector as an Employer The sector employs 44,000 people in the West Midlands making up 2% of the region’s workforce. In addition there are over 100,000 people volunteering in the sector. The LSC has produced a Sector Plan for the third sector as a strategy for developing the workforce using Train to Gain. We have established a workforce development group drawn from infrastructure organisations in the sub regions. Two sub regions have held Train to Gain briefings for third sector employers and we plan to hold further events in other sub regions. We are working with the West Midlands Brokerage Service to develop specialist brokers for the third sector using the distributed brokerage model. The Third Sector as a Source of Expertise The LSC works with a number of third sector partners in the sub regions. Regionally the sector liaises through the West Midlands European Network (WMEN) and Regional Action West Midlands (RAWM). There is ongoing work with the National Institute for Adult and Community Learning (NIACE) on a number of areas including the development of personal and community development learning (PCDL). Third Sector as Learning Providers Support for third sector providers in engaging with ESF funding is being developed through our technical assistance contract with WMEN. The LSC has supported the development of learning consortia in Shropshire and Birmingham and continues to be involved in the development of a third sector Compacts in the sub regions. 4.16 Capital Strategy In the West Midlands the Capital Plan seeks to ensure that the modernisation and renewal of the further education estate is completed in line with a clear vision of future skills needs and 14-19 developments. The Capital Plan addresses the continuing development of the further education sector estate with total capital expenditure for the region estimated at over £1,250m for the period up to 2016. Given the significant demands on our capital budget the LSC may also be required to prioritise funding to those projects which are able to demonstrate the greatest impact against the needs of the West Midlands taking into account the facilities already available. It is important that projects explore every opportunity to maximise their impact and that in addition opportunities are explored to attract funding from other sources. The Capital Plan will also therefore help to drive collaboration with our key partners in the region, attracting external funding, including Advantage West Midlands (AWM) Capital, Regeneration Zones, and the Lottery Fund. This will enable the LSC to contribute to major transformational projects, meeting wider strategic objectives for regeneration and economic development. 97
    • Despite the investment to date in the FE capital infrastructure in the West Midlands, there are still a number of providers who have poor quality facilities which are unattractive to potential students and employers. In many cases much of the space may be inflexible, outdated and cannot be adapted to meet the demands of modern curriculum delivery. In addition, a number of colleges still operate from multiple sites, leading to duplication of space and increased maintenance and running costs. The increased focus on employer engagement and delivery in the work place will also impact on college space requirements. Other factors which influence the need for action: • Too much of the estate is located as a result of legacy decisions, rather than in accordance with a coherent plan to reflect current and future demand. • Poor quality accommodation disadvantages a college in attracting learners and establishing employer links • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force in relation to the FE sector from September 2005. • The range of facilities available for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities needs to be more coherent. • Investment in a new college can have a very positive effect in a locality for building stronger communities and for engaging residents of neighbourhoods in activities which contribute to social and economic regeneration. • The Year 11 cohort is forecast to remain stable, but the drive to increase participation will continue. There are a number of “key drivers” in the development of the Capital Plan that are particularly relevant to the West Midlands. It is anticipated that all capital developments will demonstrate how they contribute to the cross-cutting drivers of quality, environment and strengthening the range of LLDD provision. These Key Drivers are: • The skills challenge – reflecting regional skills priorities and the need to respond to employer demand • The 14-19 agenda – from 2015, all young adults are expected to be undertaking some form of education and training until the age of 19. • Rationalisation of provision – the identification of key opportunities to enhance the mix and balance of provision by collaborative work • Regeneration – at the heart of community and economic regeneration is the ability to offer the right choice of learning provision in the right environment • Provision for learners with learning difficulties and/ or disabilities – it is important that the range of specialist facilities for LLDD provision within the West Midlands continues to widen to enable more learners to access provision • Quality – the aim is to provide world class accommodation within which world class teaching can take place. • Environment – the ambition is not just to comply with minimum standards of environmental efficiency but, wherever possible, to be at the forefront of creating sustainable environmentally friendly facilities. 98
    • 4.17 European Social Fund The European Social Fund (ESF) programme 2007-2013 is approximately half the size of the previous programme and is more streamlined with just two priorities. The first part of the programme 2007-2010 will be delivered through two Co-Financing Organisations, the West Midlands LSC in partnership with the West Midlands Local Government Association (representing the regions local authorities) and Jobcentre Plus on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions. The programme will deliver the priorities and targets defined in the West Midlands ESF Regional Strategic Framework 2007-2010. A Co-financing Plan 2007-2010 has been produced by the LSC in conjunction with the West Midlands Local Government Association (WMLGA), and Sub-Regional Group (SRG) representatives. This plan sets out the LSC’s intentions for Co- financing ESF activity in the region for which the LSC will be the ‘accountable body’ and will administer the agreed budget and provide match funding. It defines the outputs and results to be delivered and takes account of the priorities and targets defined in the West Midlands ESF Regional Strategic Framework 2007-2010 and the Joint Regional Skills Strategy that has been developed by AWM and LSC. The plan also defines how the two priorities of the programme will be delivered Priority 1: Extending Employment Opportunities The objective for Priority 1 is to increase employment, and reduce unemployment and inactivity. It will help to tackle barriers to work faced by disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities and health conditions, lone parents and other disadvantaged parents, older workers, ethnic minorities, and people with no or low qualifications. It also aims to reduce the numbers of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). The regions approach to the delivery of an Integrated Employment and Skills Strategy will be central to the delivery of this priority. The LSC and WMLGA will work alongside Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, and other key partners to ensure a more coherent set of interventions which will support people into work. The aim is to develop a series of pathways from worklessness into sustained employment, building on good practice identified within the current ESF programme and other initiatives. This priority also include ESF Community Grants which is a funding stream designed to support a range of activities aimed at assisting the disadvantaged or excluded to move closer to the labour market by improving their access to mainstream ESF and domestic employment and skills provision. The LSC/WMLGA Co-Financing Plan will deliver 63% of the region’s Priority 1 outputs and results and the targets detailed below have been aligned with the Jobcentre Plus Co-Financing Plan: Priority 2: Developing a Skilled and Adaptable Workforce The objective of Priority 2 is to develop a skilled and adaptable workforce by: reducing the number of people without basic skills; increasing the number of people qualified to Level 2 and, where justified, to Level 3; reducing gender segregation in the workforce; and developing managers and workers in small enterprises. There 99
    • will be a particular focus on the low skilled and the target priority sectors identified in the Framework including: • Business and Professional Services • Construction • Health and Social Care • Hotels and Restaurants • Manufacturing and Engineering • Wholesale and Retail Technical Assistance Technical Assistance is additional funding available through the ESF Operational Plan 2007-2013, to support the effective delivery of ESF at national and regional Levels. The scope of Technical Assistance is set by the EU Structural Fund Regulations. The ESF funding available to the West Midlands region for Technical Assistance for the Operational Plan 2007-10 is £1,403,000. The funding must be matched by the partnership. A LSC/WMLGA partnership application to manage Technical Assistance in the region has been approved for activities proposed in the following areas: • Research, Impact Evaluation and Employer Data Analysis. The West Midlands Regional Observatory will lead on this activity. The research activity undertaken through this project will deliver findings and potential solutions to the employability and skills problems that exist within the West Midlands. It will be used to commission research and evaluation activity that supports Priority 1: Extending Employment Opportunities and Priority 2: Developing a Skilled and Adaptable Workforce • Third Sector Support. West Midlands European Network will lead on this component of the project. Using their knowledge, extended networks and past experience they will develop the capacity and capability of the third sector, so that it may become more actively involved in the delivery of the ESF operational programme. • Employer engagement. Technical Assistance funding will be used to fund a staff post with a designated role to work with partners (AWM, Jobcentre Plus, Local Authorities) to ensure that employer engagement activity linked to both Priority 1 and Priority 2 is co-ordinated. • Higher Education. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will lead on this area of the TA project. Working with the 5 regional Lifelong Learning Networks (LLNs), Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the Further Education network and the regional Brokerage service, they will develop and deliver a clear strategy that will result in placing HEIs at the centre of higher Levels skills delivery in the workplace. • Communication and publicity. The principle aim of this activity is to ensure that the scale and impact of the ESF investment is understood, promotes good practice and support collaborative working arrangements. The LSC will lead this project and 100
    • will build upon a previous PR programmes and complement the existing PR activity of partners, stakeholders and providers across the West Midlands. • Partnership working. The WMLGA, working through it local authority members, will take the lead responsibility for this area of the project. Technical Assistance will be used to underpin and enhance sub regional partnership working amongst the local authority network. Linking with WMEN, a key objective of this activity will be the engagement and development of third sector consortia to enhance delivery capacity at a sub-regional Level. 4.18 Olympics 2012 To support the national plans that have been developed for 2012 and the Paralympics by the London 2012 Organising Committee the West Midlands has developed a regional plan ‘ Prepare for 2012’. The plan developed by a range of stakeholders and funding bodies has been produced to maximise the opportunities in this region. It covers a range of themes e.g. sport and healthy lifestyles, business and tourism, education, employment and skills. The Olympics and Paralympics will provide an opportunity to engage and motivate young people and adults, not only in relation to sport and participation but also in the context of education and skills. The Olympics and Paralympics provides an opportunity to raise the awareness of young people and about the employment opportunities that will exist in key industrial sectors in 2012 and the Apprenticeships and further or higher education opportunities that are available that will enable them to gain employment and recognised qualification relevant to these sectors. The Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence delivered in partnership with the governing bodies of sport and specialist providers, will provide those young people identified as having a sporting talent with the opportunity to develop their skills and potentially compete at the games. The programme will also develop their business skills and enable them to gain a recognised qualification that will be relevant to future employment within or outside of sport. The Olympics and Paralympics will also provide opportunities for key sectors to gain new business and contracts and it will be important that they consider the impact of this in relation to the skills of their workforce. Train to Gain will be positioned to support employers in these sectors by offering access to impartial brokers who can work with them to identify the skill needs of the workforce and source relevant skills solutions. The Olympics and Paralympic games will also generate new employment and volunteering opportunities and it will be essential that all agencies work to ensure that these opportunities benefit the most disadvantaged groups within the region. These opportunities will be positioned as an integral part of the regions Integrated Employment and Skills Strategy and will include access to pre-employment skills training and the Personal Best Programme which will provide general employment related skills and the opportunity to be interviewed and recruited as a games volunteer. 101
    • 4.19 Rural Agenda Rural Businesses are becoming more organised and workers are often highly skilled but need support around general business skills and often specialist industry qualifications. The issue of worklessness is as prevalent in rural areas as in urban areas with access to study and work often a problem in rural areas. Rural Economic Development Issues • Migrant Workforce: An issue across the region, but in rural areas particularly as we have large amounts of seasonal, agricultural workers and those linked to hotels and tourism. Skills issues primarily around ESOL and Skills for Life. • Homeworkers and Rural Businesses: The rural areas are increasingly becoming home to a variety of home based businesses and home workers, particularly in the Creative Industries. Some of these are becoming very organised and workers are often highly skilled but need support around general business skills and often specialist industry qualifications. • Worklessness and hidden deprivation: The issue of worklessness is as prevalent in rural areas as in urban areas, but is often hidden or forgotten about as statistics are masked by the wide spread of these groups and a general perception of wealth and affluence of rural areas. • Delivery mechanisms and travel: Access to study and work is often a problem. FE Colleges make an effort on rural delivery, but we are especially hit in terms of On-Site Assessment for workbased quals, sparsity of companies for TTG Brokers, huge disproportion of SME and Micro businesses and for small budgets like PCDL where management costs invariably need to be higher but are judged against urban contracts with far simpler processes and larger budgets. • Agriculture and Farming: A problem everywhere, but hit by ageing workforce, tougher business conditions and state aid problems when trying to support them. • Funding: There is a real urban focus for most regeneration streams and huge swathes of the rural West Midlands are not covered by Corridors or Regeneration Zones. • High Employment Rates - Low Wages: Speaks for itself really, but aspirationally it is difficult for people to progress or escape poverty traps and subsequently we have very low employment rates; • Graduate Retention: At 18 or 19 students leave for university and rarely return until they are past their economic prime. However, we do have a high number of older workers who have returned to rural areas that are highly qualified that we could use more effectively. Shires Compact The Shires Compact Operational Group, a group consisting of 5 Shire Local Authorities, identified some of the common challenges facing their organisations and recognised that there is much to be gained from working collaboratively with each other and with partner organisations. It recognises that whilst, its geography and demography sometimes calls for very different approaches there are many areas, skills development related to the modernisation agenda particularly, where sharing information, expertise, experience and thinking will lead to far more innovative responses to organisational challenges. The Compact will enable the Five Shire 102
    • Counties to co-ordinate the sign up to the Skills ‘Pledge’ and in doing so, ensure that training delivered and qualifications gained reflect economically valuable skills in keeping with the Leitch Review. The Compact focuses on three important areas: • Increasing the number of young entrants to the Service with particular emphasis on young people from disadvantaged groups. • Retaining skills, experience and knowledge through a consultancy pool of pre and post retirement employees and displaced staff. • Improving Partnership Working Skills The age of the population in the Five Shire Counties is increasing. It is therefore important to provide opportunities for our young people to develop their skills. The Shire Counties need to attract more young people into the workplace and is committed to meeting national targets to increase the numbers of 16-19 year olds into education, employment or training. These are reflected in our Local Area Agreements. The Shires have an ageing workforce and are recruiting from an older labour market. Employers are losing valuable skills and organisational knowledge as older workers are taking either early retirement or are retiring at age 65. There is a skill gap behind these workers and an inability for organisations to draw up meaningful succession plans because of anticipated staff and skill shortages. Providing the older workforce with new skills and new more flexible roles may well motivate them to stay in some form of employment longer. There would be great value in developing a consultancy bank of older workers based on cross area and cross functional working. It would help with skill shortages; provide resources for specific project work whilst still allowing organisations to manage necessary reductions in staff. 103
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