Successful work with colleges to ensure people have the right skills for City Region's economy

Successful partnership working across seven West Yorkshire colleges is ensuring that local people are being equipped with the right skills to meet the needs of the City Region's economy.

Successful partnership working across seven West Yorkshire colleges is ensuring that local people are being equipped with the right skills to meet the needs of the City Region's economy.

That is the conclusion of a report published today by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

Aligned

The report, Further Education College Delivery Agreements 2017 – 2020, outlines the progress made on landmark Delivery Agreements with City Region colleges to ensure college training provision and the Leeds City Region economy's needs are aligned. These unique agreements are in place with further education colleges in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Shipley, Wakefield, and with Leeds City College and Leeds College of Building have made in the last two years towards a set of unique Delivery Agreements in place with each college.

Key findings from the report are:

  • Colleges have made great strides to address and make positive changes to the college offer to businesses and individuals, enhancing provision and opportunities.
  • Colleges have played a proactive role in responding to and aligning to local economic strategies and skills plans to drive growth.
  • There are examples of where colleges have remodeled their curriculum to meet current skills gaps.

Targets negotiated with each college are designed to address the acute skills shortages faced by the City Region’s key manufacturing & engineering, health & care, and infrastructure & digital sectors. The Agreements mean colleges increasing levels of apprenticeship starts, and pledging to increase higher and degree apprenticeship provision.

I am delighted to note the progress made through these formal partnerships with the colleges, the first of their kind in the UK when they launched two years ago.

Roger Marsh OBE Chair of the LEP

Strong foundation

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said: “I am delighted to note the progress made through these formal partnerships with the colleges, the first of their kind in the UK when they launched two years ago.”

“The achievements and results outlined in the report provide a strong foundation on which to build future collaboration and joint working. Colleges have made progress towards their original aspirations and actions, enhancing provision and opportunities for businesses and individuals.”

“We will continue to nurture these partnerships to address the challenges ahead and ensure that the skills system meets the needs of our businesses and residents. Now more than ever we need to ensure that the lifeblood of our economy – our people – is equipped with the tools to keep Leeds City Region at the forefront of global competitiveness.”

We need a step change to promote and engage learners, including through work with schools to engage more learners in our priority areas, especially digital. We’re immensely grateful to the colleges and their local authorities for working with us and the progress made to date.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Future-Ready Skills Commission

Lifeblood

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Future-Ready Skills Commission, said:“Skilled people are the lifeblood of the economy. I have seen first-hand the critical importance of skills to the fortunes of West Yorkshire and beyond, in driving forward inclusion and social mobility as well as improving productivity, creating opportunities and for ensuring a strong economy we can all benefit from.”

“To achieve this we need a skills system that is responsive to local needs and reflects the changing needs of individuals and businesses. That is why these delivery agreements are so important and I am very pleased with the progress highlighted in this report.”

“We need a step change to promote and engage learners, including through work with schools to engage more learners in our priority areas, especially digital. We’re immensely grateful to the colleges and their local authorities for working with us and the progress made to date.”

The LEP has also recently launched the Future-Ready Skills Commission, which brings together leading figures from business, education, government, research bodies and the young people who represent the future of our workforce. The Commission will focus on how devolution of funding and decision-making to local areas can better meet local skills needs – particularly in terms of vocational training, careers and lifelong learning.

Read the full Further Education College Delivery Agreements 2017 – 2020 report

11 Jun 2019