Employment and Skills forms part of the “People” heading in the Worcestershire LEP’s 5 foundations.
Worcestershire as a region has an ageing population and over half of the student base does not return to the county after completing qualifications and with an increasingly ageing population and a falling working age population, Worcestershire has a challenge to fulfil the labour and skills needs of its local economy.
The Worcestershire LEP works closely with partners across the county to address these challenges and achieve several aims:
- To inspire and inform young people about the variety of career options available within the county.
- Enable local organisations to create their future workforce by improving and increasing their interactions with schools and businesses.
Worcestershire LEP also as part of this work manages a Employment and Skills Board. This Board fulfills the function of a Skills Advisory Panel, more information on this and the terms of reference for the board, view the link available here.
The current membership if the Employment and Skills Board can be viewed on the link here.
To access the minutes and papers from the latest Employment and Skills Board meeting, follow the link here.
The challenges referenced above we are working to combat through several projects and programmes which you can find more information about below.
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council launched a call to action for Worcestershire and its businesses entitled, ‘Inspiring Worcestershire: Creating our Future Workforce’.
The campaign aims to reduce the county’s skills gap and raise awareness of the employment opportunities in Worcestershire. The campaign will do this by encouraging businesses to get involved with developing Worcestershire’s skilled workforce of the future through the county’s educational establishments.
Worcestershire LEP recognise the need for a skilled workforce of tomorrow and the challenge is enabling young people to understand their skills and how they fit in the future Worcestershire economic picture. This campaign asks businesses to help educate and shape our young people to make positive careers choices for Worcestershire.
How to get involved
Businesses of all sizes in Worcestershire can get involved with ‘Creating our Future Workforce’ through a variety of ways. Commitment can be as little as one hour or one day a year, but this involvement could make the difference for a young person in choosing their industries and careers. For a business it could mean supporting the recruitment of their future senior leader.
Here’s some examples of how companies can get involved:
- Assembly talks to schools
- Supporting young people with mock interviews and CV workshops
- Attending Careers Fairs and the Worcestershire Skills Show
- Opening your doors to young people to see your work environment and the work you do
- Offering a young person, a work experience or internship opportunity in your business whilst they are studying
- Employing a young person into your business as an apprentice
- Become an Enterprise Adviser and support an educational establishment to facilitate meaningful careers activity for students
Why should businesses get involved?
The campaign has already received support from Worcestershire businesses in it’s initial year. By taking part businesses can help to inspire young people to consider a career in their industry or business, potentially recruit an intern or apprentice to fill recruitment opportunities, utilise an opportunity for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and be part of local and regional press & social media opportunities.
A great example of how businesses can support the campaign is to exhibit at Worcestershire’s largest careers event, the Worcestershire Skills Show. See what it’s all about in the video below.
Businesses who want to get involved in the campaign can complete the sign up form here.
For more information regarding career opportunities, work experience and careers events in Worcestershire, visit the Skills4Worcestershire website here.
Cornerstone Employer Offers
Several of our Cornerstone Employers offer support to the local community and below you can find their offers of support and how you can contact them to find out more.
Careers Hubs & Enterprise Adviser Network
The Careers and Enterprise Company Enterprise Adviser Network works to create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses and the schools and colleges in their area.
Enterprise Advisers are volunteers drawn from businesses who will work directly with the school’s leadership team to develop effective employer engagement plans to support schools in their careers advice and careers planning for young people. They will work with other local businesses to equip young people with the skills they need.
Each Enterprise Adviser will be allocated one school or college and will be supported by a full time Enterprise Coordinator.
Back in 2018, Building on the development of Worcestershire’s Enterprise Adviser network, Worcestershire was announced as one of 20 initial Careers Hubs in the UK aimed at better connecting businesses with educational establishments.
The Careers Hub announcement follows the success of Worcestershire becoming the first area in the UK to successfully recruit 100% of its local secondary schools into the Careers and Enterprise Company Enterprise Adviser Network. Worcestershire’s Careers Hub will have access to support which will help secondary schools, middle schools, SEN Schools and colleges meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education, working towards improved careers outcomes for young people. Achieving these benchmarks are now a mandatory requirement for schools.
The Worcestershire Careers Hub has already achieved fantastic success being awarded Highly Commended for “Careers Hub of the Year” and recognised by the Department of Education. This was further recongised when it was announced in 2020 that Worcestershire would have a second hub focused on middle schools.
Worcestershire is also the only new hub of its kind in the UK to be delivering to all pupils from years 7 to 13 regardless of their education choice. This now means that the county has complete geographical coverage with all eligible education establishments part of the careers hub network.
As part of the Worcestershire LEP Virtual Conference 2020, the team explained the achievements of the careers hub so far , you can watch this video below.
This programme is contracted to the Worcestershire LEP but delivered in partnership with Worcestershire County Council.
For more information on the Worcestershire Careers Hub, Enterprise Adviser Network and for businesses looking to get involved with the local Careers Enterprise Company network, visit www.skills4worcestershire.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership recognises the importance of providing high-quality apprenticeships within the county.
Worcestershire LEP had a target of having over 10,000 active participants in an apprenticeship programme across the county by 2015 and this was achieved early during 2013/14 which saw more than four times the number than in 2011.
In order to help with upskilling the County’s workforce, the Worcestershire LEP continues to work with partner organisations to raise the profile of apprenticeship schemes and the positive contributions they have in providing our younger generations with a bright working future.
Worcestershire LEP and Worcestershire County Council work together to promote apprenticeships at various events and forums across the county, including with the prestigious annual Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards. Over the last six years, the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards have celebrated the successes of the county’s apprentices, employers, training providers, schools and careers leads.
The awards have become a must attend within the community and each year celebrate an overall Apprentice and Apprenticeship of Employer of the Year. These winners then go on to continue their success by spreading the message of apprenticeships through their channels and networks.
You can watch the highlights from the latest Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards below.
Alongside the annual Awards, The Worcestershire Apprenticeships team also run the yearly Apprenticeship Show. This event gathers together local employers and training providers to showcase the variety of apprenticeships opportunities available to young people. The 2019 Worcestershire Apprenticeship Show was the highest attended yet with 3,000 attendees coming through to learn more about apprenticeships in the county.
Again, you can watch a video from the latest Worcestershire Apprenticeships Show below.
For those seeking more information on local apprenticeship opportunities or employing apprentices, visit the website www.worcsapprenticeships.org.uk
Work Experience, Internships and Kickstarts
Worcestershire also provides support for work experience, internships opportunities and the new Government backed Kickstarts.
Work Experience provides young people with the opportunity to engage with employers and discover local careers that appeal to them. Encouraging young people to stay in the county is a key ambition of the Worcestershire LEP and work experience is a vital part of inspiring that Future Workforce.
Work Experience is one of the options that business can pledge their support to in the Inspiring Worcestershire programme above.
Alongside work experience are internships. Internships offer young people to experience the working world for a longer period of time, normally 6 to 12 month placements. Interns work within the company as a regular employee would. This internship experience is becoming more popular in the county and can be seen working successfully with the Junior Internship Programme.
The Junior Internship Programme(JIP) which commenced in September 2018 is part of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s ‘Creating our Future Workforce’ campaign to strengthen the relationship between schools and businesses in Worcestershire. The early successes of the Programme supports recent research which has proven the positive impact on students’ progress during their studies when supported and mentored by employers.
Since this launching, the JIP has ran a pilot programme and seen interns secure permanent jobs at local luxury car manufacturer, Morgan Motor Company.
You can find out more about the Junior Internship Programme here.
Kickstarts were launched in 2020 by the Government and provides funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
This is part of the Government ‘Plan for Jobs’ and aims to create hundreds and thousands of new, fully funded jobs across England, Scotland and Wales.
Worcestershire County Council working with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership are acting as an intermediary to help local businesses apply for placements.
This has already seen interest from the business community and those organisations looking to apply can register their interest with Worcestershire Business Central.