New Anglia Skills Advisory Panel Meeting
24th January 2020
At Centrum, Norwich Research Park
In attendance:
Viv Gillespie, Suffolk New College (VG)
Ben Miller, Konica Minolta (BM)
Yvonne Mason, The Mason Trust (YM)
Chris Gribble, Writers’ Centre Norwich
Claire Cullens, New Anglia LEP Board (CC)
Alison Ward, New Anglia LEP (AW)
Clarke Willis, Swallow Barns (CW)
Jake Hardwick, Norfolk County Council
Cllr Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council
James Hill, RNAA (JHi)
Corrienne Peasgood, City College Norwich
Simon Papworth, New Anglia LEP (SP)
David Gartland, Abbeygate 6th Form (DG)
David Pomfret, College of West Anglia
Christine Futter, Norfolk and Suffolk Care
Support (CF)
Glen Todd, New Anglia LEP (GT)
Cllr Stuart Clancy, Norfolk County Council
Helen Langton (Professor), University of
Suffolk (HL)
Dayle Bayliss, Dayle Bayliss Associates
Jan Feeney, Norfolk County Council (JF)
Guy Hazelhurst, EDF (GH)
Jason Parnell, Steadfast Training (JP)
Judith Mobbs, Suffolk County Council (JM)
Julia Nix, DWP (JN)
Karen Gibson, Norfolk County Council (KG)
Lynsey Sweales, representing Norfolk
Lucy Walker, ESFA (LW)
Chamber of Commerce (LS)
Nikos Savvas, West Suffolk College (NS)
Michael Gray, Suffolk County Council (MG)
Peter Funnell, Oakmere Solutions (PF)
Natasha Waller, New Anglia LEP (NW)
Richard Self, agricultural representative
Peter Basford, BDO Group (PB)
Richard Bridgman, Warren Services (RB)
Stuart Rimmer, East Coast College (SR)
Stuart Smith, People with Energy (SS)
Vince Muspratt, Norfolk County Council
Tom Brown, Green Light Trust (TB)
Tom Humphries, Norfolk County Council
Item 1: Welcome, Introductions & Apologies - Approval of Minutes
Claire Cullens welcomed everyone to the meeting - her first as Chair.
The minutes of the meeting in November 2019 were approved. Actions arising:
- Document showing other SAP linked groups had been recirculated by NW.
- Conflict of interest / Member Agreement forms had not all been completed. Some were
returned through the meeting.
ACTION: NW to chase those who had not complied by end of February 2020.
- Target setting - on agenda
- Apprenticeships - on agenda
- Pye Tait report - MG gave a brief update regarding some further asks SCC had made of the
ACTION: NW to place on agenda for March SAP.
- Levy Sharing - on agenda
- Skills Deal - MG explained that they had received 3 applications for the ‘underspend’ but
only 1 had met the basic requirements. Further information is still required from the
applicant and then it will be brought to the SAP for comment.
ACTION: MG to table a Skills Deal paper when applicant meets the requirements.
RB initiated the congratulations to Corrienne Peasgood and Yvonne Mason in relation to
being awarded Honours in the New Year list.
ACTION: NW to speak to LEP Comms team by end of January 2020 about publicising this plus
three other SAP members who have Honours (CW, JN & RB).
Item 2: Equipping Young People for Success
Current scene - TH gave an update of some of the initiatives that were taking place across
Norfolk and Suffolk which fits under this objective including:
- ATA Looked After Children
- Norwich for Jobs
- Building Better Opportunities
- ESF Apprenticeship Support for Employers
- Opportunity Areas
Private sector members led a discussion around the support that young people need with
applying for jobs, the educational jargon that confuses SMEs, the need to keep/attract back
young people and the role that the Job Centre can play.
Data Update - SP presented a range of statistical evidence around this objective including:
- Apprenticeship starts / levels / achievements
- NEET figures
- Productivity
- Skills levels
- Economic Indicators
Following on from the November 2019 meeting, SP asked for feedback on style of presentation and
explained that there was still a need to refine the evidence base. The panel expressed a preference in
charts with associated narrative.
SP explained that there is also a lag of time before the reports get issued so it is difficult to map
impact in a timely way. He is working with colleagues at NCC & SCC to share workload and evidence
bases and has sense checked evidence with the New Anglia Data Practitioners Group.
Discussion centred around:
- drop in employed residents who hold a Level 3 qualification
- need to look more at apprenticeship achievement/employment numbers, not just starts.
- yearly updates when evidence base is established
- continue to compare us with other LEPs and bring examples of good progress to the panel
ACTION: SP, with support from NCC/SCC data colleagues to continue to refine and circulate evidence
related to our vision in advance of future panel meetings in order to initiate discussion.
Norfolk Skills and Careers Festival
James Hill from the RNAA gave an update on the 5th Norfolk Skills and Careers Festival at the Norfolk
Showground on March 4th and 5th. To date 37 schools and over 60 exhibitors are registered to
attend. There is subsidised travel available for schools if they complete the feedback sheet (£100 per
coach and £50 per minibus). This year there will be a teachers lounge for the first time and there is
joint governance arrangements with the Suffolk Agricultural Association.
ACTION: All to encourage more businesses and schools to attend.
Enterprise Adviser Network:
GT gave an update on the achievements of the EAN. 82% of the schools are engaged (92 mainstream
secondary & FE, 17 SEND and 9 Alternative schools) with 113 voluntary Enterprise Advisers. The
service is mapped against the 8 Gatsby benchmarks and New Anglia are achieving above benchmark
on all of these.
Our contractual targets are being met but there is an ambition to improve further. There is a constant
need for support, either as an Enterprise Adviser or just at events arranged by/for the schools which
contribute to the targets.
There was discussion around the muddled landscape with the plethora of careers inspiration
ACTION: Glen to circulate by end of February 2020 the gaps in school engagement and shortage of
Enterprise Advisers.
Youth Pledge ESF Project - not tabled
Area Review
CP updated the panel on the progress of the area review. Nearly all the actions have been completed
so CP proposed that we close off the review - this was agreed by the panel members.
Item 3: Workshop - support the Equipping Young People For Success Objective
Due to the overrunning of Item 2, it was decided to withdraw this item.
ACTION: Panel members to send thoughts to NW by 20/02/2020 on our strengths,
weaknesses and gaps across Norfolk and Suffolk with this objective. NW to recirculate key
themes back to panel.
Item 4: Apprenticeship Update
National Update
NW gave an update on behalf of Bev Moxon, ESFA. National Apprenticeship Week is
February 3rd - 9th and the panel were encouraged to publicise and support events running
over the week. There will be plenty of coverage in schools, social media and in the
workplace. The Fire It Up Campaign is running again until the end of March.
The apprenticeship service is being opened up to non-levy employers and support is being
given to employers in this transition period.
County Council update
MG explained that Suffolk County Council are keen to support the younger age group with
apprenticeship engagement as that is where there is a drop in starts. They have been keen to
reflect on provision in recent months and are now reigniting it. Their inclusive growth
agenda is linked with apprenticeships and sector deal targets.
Debbie McArthur is their Apprenticeship Manager and is the key link for this work.
JF explained that Norfolk County Council have 2 new members of staff, Sophie Allport
(Apprenticeships Officer) and Simon Kenny (Apprenticeships Project Officer). They will have
an Apprenticeship Strategy Manager in post in February. Their focus is to support those who
are disadvantaged/barriers entering the workplace. They are also working with providers
across a range of apprenticeship levels.
ME explained that SCC were refreshing the ‘Raising the Bar’ work including a focus around
child literacy levels and ensuring children are ready for starting school.
Discussion focussed on the potential for apprenticeships at all levels to support social
mobility (including at UoS). There is still the need to update and train employers, particularly
SMEs as they are often concerned about investment v return.
CP explained how they induct their apprenticeship employers to ensure they fully
understand the requirements necessary to support an apprentice. This has been rolled out to
other providers.
Members would have preferred this paper earlier as it wasn’t sent out with the main papers
due to lateness in submitting to NW.
Levy Sharing
AW gave an update on her new role and progress to date. She has been virtually allocated a
large amount of levy to date and has met with the main providers in the area. Her focus will
be changing to look for receiving businesses/apprentices and supporting all parties involved.
RB commented that we need to challenge government more with their policies if we don’t
believe that they are fit for our purpose.
ACTION: SAP to continue to receive updates from AW on the impact of levy sharing as
New Anglia Learning Providers Update
JP explained that changes in Functional Skills requirements mean that delivery and
assessment staff need to be discreet. This is causing challenges for providers who support
learners on a 1:1 basis particularly in rural areas.
Private training providers have had to review their curriculum model to ensure they remain
viable. This has resulted in some removal of certain apprenticeships.
ACTION: Apprenticeship provision to be reviewed in greater delivery at the March meeting.
Item 5: AOB
NW spoke about the LEP Investment Plan paper (page 13 - 16) that is going to the LEP Board
on 29/01/2020. If approved, the SAP will be consulted for their views on the skills element of
this through a workshop that Lisa Roberts (LEP Head of Strategy) is arranging. CC, CP and HL
all sit on the LEP Board so they will hear/take part in the discussions at the LEP Board.
ACTION: NW or colleague will update the SAP as appropriate following the LEP Board.
LS led the thanks for Claire in her first meeting.
Chair Note subsequent to the meeting: All papers/presentations should be shared at least
a week in advance and clear purpose should be given so they are action focussed.
Members are reminded that they should read papers in advance of the meeting.
Next meeting at Easton College on March 19th 2020 at 10am.