New Anglia Skills Advisory Panel Meeting
17th September 2020
Via Microsoft Teams
In attendance:
Polly Bridgman, University of Suffolk (PB)
Ben Miller, Konica Minolta (BM)
Simon Papworth, New Anglia LEP (SP)
Claire Cullens, New Anglia LEP Board and
SAP Chair (CC)
Clarke Willis, Swallow Barns (CW)
Bev Moxon, ESFA (BMo)
Corrienne Peasgood, City College Norwich
Chris Gribble, Writers’ Centre Norwich
David Gartland, Abbeygate 6th Form (DG)
Christine Futter, Norfolk and Suffolk Care
David Pomfret, College of West Anglia
Support (CF)
Cllr Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council
Glen Todd, New Anglia LEP (GT)
Guy Hazelhurst, EDF (GH)
Cllr Stuart Clancy, Norfolk County Council
Jan Feeney, Norfolk County Council (JF)
Jason Parnell, Steadfast Training (JP)
Dayle Bayliss, Dayle Bayliss Associates
Michael Gray, Suffolk County Council (MG)
Dena Read, ESFA (DR)
Natasha Waller, New Anglia LEP (NW)
Helen Langton (Professor), University of
Richard Bridgman, Warren Services (RB)
Suffolk (HL)
Seb Gasse, NCC (SG)
Judith Mobbs, Suffolk County Council (JM)
Stuart Rimmer, East Coast College (SR)
Julia Nix, DWP (JN)
Richard Self, agricultural representative
Karen Gibson, Norfolk County Council (KG)
Lynsey Sweales, representing Norfolk
Stuart Smith, People with Energy (SS)
Chamber of Commerce (LS)
Tom Brown, Green Light Trust (TB)
Lucy Walker, ESFA (LW)
Tracey Cox, ESFA (TC)
Nikos Savvas, West Suffolk College (NS)
Viv Gillespie, Suffolk New College (VG)
Peter Basford, BDO Group (PB)
Yvonne Mason, The Mason Trust (YM)
Peter Funnell, Oakmere Solutions (PF)
Tom Humphries, Norfolk County Council
Angela Berry, West Suffolk College (AB)
Vince Muspratt, Norfolk County Council
Karin Porter, Norfolk County Council (KP)
Paul Gisbey
Item 1: Welcome
Claire Cullens welcomed everyone to the meeting and the minutes were reviewed and
Follow up on actions:
- The job support programme was launched on September 2nd and has been positively
received. Any additional comments can be sent to NW at any time.
- The Covid-19 Restart delivery plan has been updated to include the reference to the SAP
objectives. This was circulated to members.
- CC and NW followed up on CP’s comments about the LEP’s role in the Institute of
Technology. DfE confirmed that the LEP will not have to make a decision if there are multiple
bids but we are welcome to support applicants, help to facilitate discussions and broker
partnerships. A LEP Board paper was being put forward for the 23rd September and is
available on the LEP website. This sets out the ambition for our region and was developed in
conjunction with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils.
CC had also updated the Norfolk Chief Execs on the SAP objectives. They are keen to gain
more granular district data on skills and employment plus information on how we are
measuring progress.
CC has also been invited to the Norwich Good Economy Commission to increase inclusion
within the economy and social mobility. They are keen to receive pilot projects around the
Youth Pledge.
Item 2: The Current Landscape
DWP Update by Paul Gisbey - Universal credit claimants and increasingly redundancies are rising
with young people particularly impacted. There has been an increase in numbers in the west and
south of our region which bucks the normal trends. They are busy promoting the Kick Start scheme
which will commence in November. The youth offer centres around pre-employment support and the
flexible support fund. DWP staffing levels are increasing to deal with the change in demand.
FE Update by Corrienne Peasgood - Colleges are seeing a different profile from progressing Year 11
students due to the teacher assessment grades. They believe that the increase in GCSE grades has
caused a higher level than normal to stay at school 6th Forms or progress to higher level courses at
colleges. There is also an increase in progressions within colleges. There has been good adult
recruitment but HE and apprenticeship numbers are lower than last year. Lots of recruitment in
health and construction. Staff are working hard to keep everywhere Covid safe.
University Update by Polly Bridgman - our 3 universities have recruited better than expected and
clearing is still bringing more students! NUA has a new acting course which has recruited well. Slight
drop in Masters students but not as many requests for deferred entry as anticipated. UEA has met its
UK degree and postgraduate targets and has more international students than expected. UoS has
met its budget targets and EU student numbers have held up well plus postgrad. Health has been
really popular. They are working hard to keep students Covid safe plus reassuring their local
Independent Training Providers - provision has varied according to the sectors. Lots of provision is
still online. The Skills Support for the Workforce programme has currently met 84.7% of their start
profile with support from 9 contractors. Over 200 employers and 1094 learners have been engaged
Item 3: SAP Objectives Projects
Representatives from the four objectives groups fed back on progress. Their reports are in the
appendix at the end of these minutes.
CC acknowledged that some projects have been refined due to the evolving context of the landscape.
There will be a review of focus and structure at the end of 2020/early 2021. She is keen to see
collective weight being added to established or establishing projects BUT it needs to be clear where
the SAP is adding additional impact.
ACTION: CW/GT to arrange a meeting to discuss more EAN links to the Agri-Food sector
ACTION: Paul Gisbey to have a further conversation with JP and SP around training and productivity.
ACTION: JM also to have a conversation with SR regarding work that Saul Humphries and others are
ACTION: CC and NW to look at overlaps with the different groups and also arrange a meeting of the
ACTION: CC to review a shared comms resource for the SAP.
Item 4: Local Skills Report
NW and SP updated members on Local Skills Reports. They will provide a clear and consistent view of
local skills needs across areas in a relevant and engaging format for local partners.
Reports will be a key source of local skills information that enable cross-area comparison and feed
local intelligence to the soon to be formed national Skills and Productivity Board (SPB) and central
government. The Skills and Productivity Board will be an expert committee established by the
Department for Education (DfE) to provide the Government with independent advice and analysis on
skills mismatches and to help ensure that the skills system is aligned to employers’ future needs.
Local Skills Report’s will help to grow the influence of S Ps locally by acting as an engagement tool
- a vehicle through which SAPs can directly engage, influence and rally employers and providers in
their areas to support the local skills agenda.
The first edition needs to be produced by the end of March 2021.
Item 5: AOB
NW gave an update on Kickstart and the collaboration between DWP, the Chambers and the
County Councils. RB informed members that Warren Services is working with Netmatters to
offer 30 placements.
CW spoke about some of the challenges with agency staff in the agri-food sector. The issues
at Banham Poultry and with Brexit have highlighted this to a wider audience. There still
remains an issue with modern day slavery with gangmasters. CW is keen to see more focus
on the career opportunities to ensure there is a more stable workforce.
ACTION: CC and CW to have a further conversation.
Next meeting scheduled for November 20th at 10am.
Report to the New Anglia LEP Skills Advisory Panel
From the Sub Group: Equipping Young People for Success
15th September 2020 Update
The group has now met on two occasions and has developed the following plan for taking forward
the two priorities identified by SAP in February 2020:
Focus area
Maximising the impact from the work of the Enterprise Adviser Network. A series
Inspiration &
of communications/activities to ensure that Heads, CEOs and Governing Boards of those
schools and colleges engaged with the Enterprise Adviser Network are aware of the role
and workings of the programme. Alongside this, further support should be given to the
Enterprise Adviser Network team to review the current impact of the programme.
Approaches are different according to the Enterprise Adviser and the business networks to
involvement &
deliver the interventions, but some exemplar features could be identified for high and low
economy info.
impact interventions. This evidence could then be used to shape future developments and
investment proposals.
a) Enhancing communications with key educational influencers:
Who to action/support
Develop differentiated messages to pre and post 16 providers
G Todd with support from
this group
Direct mail school governors via NCC and SCC - Send G Todd details of
K Porter & J Mobbs
communication channels to governors for Norfolk and Suffolk
Direct mail college governors abouts EAN via college principals
G Todd
Write directly to all CEOs of academy trusts to raise awareness of EAN
G Todd
and highlight online seminars planned for October
Develop a communications plan for EAN to ensure timing of comms to
G Todd with support from
schools/colleges is well targeted and undertaken by those best placed
this group
to do so. As part of the action plan:
Consider ways of getting more leverage with heads/CEOs e.g.
By linking to Ofsted priorities
Supporting learning providers to better prepare their
students for changed circumstances due to Covid
Using head who is actively engaged with EAN to send out
Provide schools/colleges with case studies demonstrating
Extend number of EAs representing the agri-tech employers
Refer to SAP for wider
discussion and support
b) Review the impact of the current EAN Programme
Who to action/support
Develop a robust QA/impact framework for EAN for 2020/21
G Todd with support from
Timeline and Criteria for framework to be agreed
this group
What steps do we need to take to achieve this?
Understand what data is available and evaluate
Exploring how we support the EAN to develop the virtual work
Future group agenda item
inspiration offer
Focus area
Highlighting & developing a suite of activity programmes across Norfolk and
young people
Suffolk that aim to give young people confidence and resilience, particularly
with the
targeting disadvantaged young people. These are likely to be outside the school day,
confidence and
possibly involving the voluntary sector, and will ideally signpost activity that is being carried
out currently and enhance the offer. It could build on the Government’s recent Essential
Life Skills Fund model. Examples of current activities that could inform this are the Creative
Computing Club in Ipswich and the National Citizenship Service.
Target group for this offer agreed to be those aged 16-25 years who are not engaging in education,
employment, or training.
Following discussion, the group agreed that the first step was to consult young people and frontline
staff to highlight where the gaps were in the current support for those aged 16-25 who were NEET to
develop their confidence and resilience. The following outline approach was agreed for consultation.
Next step is for officer team to develop this plan further, identify resources and timescales.
By who
Identify existing forums of young people that could be used e.g.
Youth Advisory Boards
Identify ways of getting views of NEET young people
Consult with front line workers
Agree timeline and questions for yp and format (focus
groups/individual discussions)
Identify and engage with existing programmes
Identify latest impact of NEET research
New Anglia Skills Advisory Panel
Champions Meeting Feedback Form
Date of Meeting: 14/09/2020
Champion: Lynsey Sweales
Objective: Providing Agile & Responsive Training Provision for Key Sectors
Priority: Tutor shortages in key sectors
Key discussion points
One of the few positives of Covid-19 may be that it may be less challenging to recruit
lecturers. A vacant brickwork position at The College of West Anglia has had some
good interest where normally it is more challenging.
Difficult for FE colleges to offer enhanced salaries for some sectors and still make
positive financial margins.
Some colleges do give ‘golden hellos’/recruitment bonuses but doesn’t necessarily
keep people in post long term.
Important for stakeholders to jointly promote the opportunities - not just the college, the
sector ecosystem and the lifestyle. Apprenticeships may be a good starting point as
there is buy in from employers already.
Colleges have shared staff in the past, e.g. civil engineering. It is still an option but
timetabling and commuting can be challenging so need the member of staff to be
engaged and managers to work together across providers. May work with an emerging
sector/focus area such as clean growth. Commercial courses where there is sensitive
industry knowledge or expensive equipment can be more challenging.
How are you going to achieve it and what are your milestones?
- Focus on a key sector that has a shortfall in lecturers and aim to engage industry
representatives to jointly solve the challenges.
- Aim to develop a pot of funding that can be utilised for training, support and enhanced
salary of a set number of new staff on a pilot basis. Employers, sector groups, the LEP
and local authorities will be approached.
- Engage Norfolk and Suffolk Unlimited with the campaign.
- Further conversations to take place in October.
Are there any barriers?
- Current economic climate may limit appetite to sponsor activity.
Who else would you like in the group?
- additional SAP private sector members who wish to support
- non-SAP industry representatives from sectors that it is hard for colleges to recruit
- new lecturers
- Someone who is involved in FE teacher training
- College HR manager
Links with the other SAP objectives
Driving Skills Progression
Equipping Young People for Success
How are you planning to involve beneficiaries in the design of the project?
Through including new lecturers in the group.
What data requirements will you need?
LMI on growing sectors to map against current provision and student numbers.
How are you embedding some of the golden threads - clean recovery/growth,
productivity, place and mental health?
Maths, IT, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing are all key shortages which are
needed for clean recovery/growth. Addressing some of these issues will support this
The pilot is initially likely to focus on one or two colleges but could be expanded if
Getting motivated, well trained, fully staffed and supported college departments will
reduce the need for additional teaching cover thus hopefully reducing the negative
impact on mental health and subsequent time off sick.
New Anglia Skills Advisory Panel
Champions Meeting Feedback Form
Date of Meeting: 3rd September 2020
Champion: Christine Futter
Objective: Driving Skills Progression for the Workforce
Priority: High Levels of Employer Led Upskilling/Development of the Workforce &
Clear Pathways to enter/progress and move between key sectors
Key discussion points
Briefly recapped and reaffirmed the relevance of the ‘vision’ that sits alongside
this objective
“All those in work having the incentive, opportunity and support to progress within
employment, acquire additional skills, generate greater productivity and reduce
reliance on working age benefits”
Briefly considered continued relevance and suitability of the priorities as
confirmed at previous meeting
Reaffirmed focus on addressing the objective from both an employer and an
individual focus
Agreed that the two priorities remain relevant but that the first should be broader
that creating a higher level version of SSW - that is indeed one of the solutions
but groups focus is about enabling that upskilling and development of workforce
through whatever opportunities there are.
Agreed that we might not be able to impact upon all barriers to achieving both
these priorities - Covid-19 may well have created additional barriers - but would
be useful to ensure we understand these barriers and look to build a set of
actions and activity around them.
Further development of the priorities
Looked back at previous discussion and looked to take forward by identifying
the most pertinent points that would need to be embedded into activity.
Identified the following 4 ‘important building blocks’
o Digital skills are both a necessary focus going forward and an
opportunity. Equipping our workforce and individuals with digital skills will
make them more employable and adaptable going forward. Other skills
that would be useful to focus on include technical, personable and
management skills.
o Raising adult inspiration and motivation and ensuring they have access to
the right information will be required moving forward. Need to look at how
we can do this - feels like there is not sufficient information and advice
o Should be about upskilling across the economy and an inclusive
approach but also a proactive approach - identifying those businesses
that have the greatest potential to create productivity and inclusive
growth. Target them to make sure they are aware of and - where
relevant - making use of support to help them upskill their workforce.
o Merits of mentoring businesses/employers re: development and
progressions of staff.
Identified 6 ‘workstreams’ that these building blocks would be considered and
embedded into in order to achieve the main priorities
o Communications plan
o Additional research
o Upskilling support and funding
o Messaging within the priority statement (primarily being taken forward by
flexible and responsive training group)
o Identifying and logging further barriers to develop further actions
o Expansion of the group
How are you going to achieve it and what are your milestones?
We have now developed an action plan to keep on track setting out the
purpose, what we are trying to achieve and the key next steps against each of
the workstreams. All members are contributing to this. As part of this we are
now working on the key next steps including:
o Identifying all known support coming forward from Govt. and
organisations across the region that could comprise a ‘higher level
version of SSW’ and could feasibly be provided to local employers as a
package. Will help us consider what opportunities can be and should be
maximised more, and where there is a genuine need to scale up support
to address gaps. Will ensure any proposals forthcoming for new funds
are closely aligned with current landscape. To be developed before the
next SAP meeting.
o Developing a list of key audiences, messages and actions as part of a
draft DSPftW comms campaign - would obviously welcome and invite
discussion around whether this should be part of a wider
communications plan across the SAP. This would include: benefits of
growing your own, skills development as an investment not a cost etc.
To be developed before the next SAP meeting.
o Producing a draft specification around the data requirements (as below)
to take the development of these priorities forward. To be developed
before the next SAP meeting.
o Populating a barriers log with an initial list of reasons and risks as to why
upskilling and development levels are not higher than they are. This will
be reviewed as a standing item at further DSftW meetings. This includes
barriers previously identified in our first session included in the following
cell (not changed from first session). To be shared at the next SAP
Are there any barriers?
Lots of people on furlough will be made redundant - priority is going to be
redeployment and support of those people - have to ensure they are going into
employment with progression, not just any job.
In new labour market climate businesses will find it easier to find ‘new’
employees so not as incentivised to invest in own workforce.
Concern that businesses will not invest when economy is so uncertain.
Employer and individual engagement - group still thinks this could be much
slicker in this region - we need better, clearer means of accessing support and
information (e.g. from the Growth Hub)
Lack of HR capacity in some SMEs to develop a culture of continued
professional development.
People may be more content to progress more slowly than would otherwise
have been the case pre-Covid-19 - ‘happy to have a job’.
Who else would you like in the group?
Agreed to a principle of determining the most effective means of bringing additional
voices into the group. In most cases this will involve either a current member of the
group making a connection with a particular stakeholder or group of stakeholders or
bringing ‘guests’ into the discussion as and when needed.
Additional standing members only considered if essential as believe the size of the
group as currently is conducive to action.
Representation will therefore, as and when required, be sought from others including:
Chambers of Commerce
Growth Hub
Adult Learning Representatives
Communications Expertise
Links with the other SAP objectives
There is a need for a clearer line of sight to the work of the other groups - is there
some way this can be facilitated beyond updates at the SAP main meeting?
Obvious links across to the other SAP objectives - YP need to have the opportunity to
progress once they have ‘accessed’ an opportunity and need that culture of
development as much as any other age groups, the agile and responsive training
provision must consider progression needs of individuals as well as employer/local
economy requirements for skills and progression through reskilling and movement
across industries and roles as well as progressing within a narrower role requires a
consideration of removing barriers into employment - not just for those who are
unemployed but who are unemployed in other areas or at different levels.
Of immediate need is to liaise with all other objective groups on the communication and
research requirements the other groups may have.
How are you planning to involve beneficiaries in the design of the project?
Beneficiaries are employers and employees (training providers could also be
included here)- will look to utilise small focus groups but approach will need to
be involve more than this. Will be confirmed as activity becomes more defined.
Already have representation of these beneficiaries in the groups.
What data requirements will you need?
From our initial session we reached agreement that a clear understanding of
the support available now and likely to be made available going forward
including understanding what the Govt/DWP offer is and ensure we maximise
benefits for Norfolk and Suffolk.
the ‘origin’ (declining, less in demand) sectors and skillsets that individuals are
likely to need to move from and the ‘destination’ sectors and roles that
individuals could move to. Then identify any ‘bridging’ requirements (i.e. to tailor
a previously held and make it applicable to a new role/industry) - could be
fulfilled through various routes including apprenticeships?
As per above we will be undertaking the work to determine further detail to be included
in a draft research specification - determining what is already available and known and
what (if any) new research/reports are required.
How are you embedding some of the golden threads - clean recovery/growth,
productivity, place and mental health?
Clear link between mental health and having the ability and opportunity to
Could look to encourage development of a management and leadership
provision with a focus on mental health and wellbeing of employees.
Productivity - considered in discussion around targeting businesses that would
have the biggest impact on creating productivity and inclusive growth.
Clean recovery/growth - promoting skills that enable cleaner ways of working.
Could be embedded in training to facilitate progression towards utilising ‘cleaner’
methods and technology.
New Anglia Skills Advisory Panel
Champions Meeting Feedback Form
Date of Meeting:
Champion: Guy Hazlehurst
Tackling Barriers to Employment
Supporting Young People to Access Employment
Key discussion points
Priorities by age were discussed and agreed that given the timing of current economic
events the current priority for immediate action by the group should be a request from
the SAP that an additional priority be added to focus on Young People. Some key
drivers being:
50% drop in app starts confirmed by National Apprenticeship Service
compared to this time last year.
b. A 35-45% drop in app opportunities being offered by employers
compared to this time last years
c. Strong evidence that serving Apprentices risk losing Jobs and will need
re-brokering into follow on opportunities to safeguard their futures
1 in 3 of people aged between 18 and 24 have been furloughed or lost
their jobs. for the 30-45-year olds this falls to 1 in 6.
e. Little likelihood of effective / funded government interventions delivering
anything until January 2021
f. Need to avoid risk of young people slipping into long term unemployment
as a result of rapid skills decay and readiness for work.
Whilst the immediate priorities are focussed on the Young, we should not lose
sight of the SAPs priorities on the over 50s (Fuller working lives agenda) and
Basic Skills. Those of mid working age who are recently unemployed or at risk
of unemployment must be a focus of our activity and plans for these groups will
be developed once the Young People workstream has been scoped and
implemention has started
An element of prioritisation by sector is probably desirable to enable effective
piloting and proof of concept before widening out to other areas. This needs to
be scoped by the group - with reference to the Sector Skills Plans and best
opportunities for success/benefit.
Principals behind Young Person Initiative
Private Sector members of the SAP, along with public sector employers,
colleges and support agencies will point young people to opportunities in 'legacy
roles' that are in high demand throughout the region.
Key 'Legacy Roles' have already been identified by Suffolk Development Board
and Norfolk County Council with supporting information from industrial
partners. Research has shown (Technical Skills Legacy Report) that these are
in high demand in the region now and will remain so for the next 10-15 years
and probably beyond (15 years was the scope of the research)
EDF have brought forward investment in a database system (known as Young
Sizewell C) to help play a key part in directing young people to these
sustainable and exciting job opportunities. Stakeholders from SAP and the
wider region have been asked to join a development group, with the kick off
meeting taking place on the 9th September.
It is hoped that this system and associated support will play a key role in
pointing young people to pre-employment training and areas of support that
maximise their life and employment opportunities.
In order to maximise success, working partnerships are now being put in place
with key organisations in the region including ICANBEA Suffolk, DWP, the New
Anglia LEP and industrial partners in the region.
DWP and the Tackling Barriers to Employment Objective Group will play a pro-
active role in continuing to champion 'Breaking Down Barriers to Employment'
and work closely with our colleagues in the other SAP objective groups -
ensuring early delivery of these key regional objectives.
How are you going to achieve it and what are your milestones?
Potential Working model to deliver November outcomes
Agreed that we should work with or bring forward initiatives that already exist in
order to deliver against tight deadlines, seeking to influence SAP members to
promote, support at appropriate, including:
a. Recruit Retain Reward (RRR) project, launched 3rd August, providing a
grant of £1000 for SME’s in the region to take on a new young apprentice
or to re-employ a young apprentice made redundant as a result of C19,
this is in addition to the Government grant of £2000 and could align with
the NALEP Apprenticeship Levy Sharing Project if appropriate
b. Launch of the ESF Youth Pledge for Employers project (October 2020)
focussing on engaging with a wide range of small & medium enterprises
(SMEs) across the NALEP area, developing opportunities for young
people to engage in work-based experience, structured employment
activities and sector related learning
c. All SAP members to promote through their networks the Kickstart
scheme to support a young person on a 6-month work placement
d. Support and promotion of a range of traineeships for young people (FE
e. Encouraging recruiting employers to sign up for a sector-based work
Key Delivery mechanisms could include:
a. EDF Bringing forward investments to support young people in non SZC
opportunities to include a CRM (database) system currently known as
Young SZC to enable young people to register interest and
inspire/signpost young people to support/interventions.
b. A Skills/Opportunity Prospectus funded by EDF / SZC using Pye Tait /
'Legacy for Norfolk and Suffolk' study published in 2020 to act as the
basis for Skills Prospectus - and legacy /high demand roles.
c. ICANBEA key delivery platform for Prospectus and CRM system
d. Dynamic links to specific areas of support - currently being scoped by the
development group.
Are there any barriers?
Some joint communications with key stakeholders will help to raise the profile of the
SAP and its work and will help to ensure maximum impact of all the projects not only
from this SAP group but others too.
Who else would you like in the group?
There is not a view that we necessarily need anyone else in the group rather than the
SAP members agree this additional priority for this group in light of the extenuating
circumstances described above, this does not detract from the desire of the group to
deliver against the defined priorities and the plan is that once this work is underway we
would seek to move the focus to supporting the Fuller Working Lives agenda and Basic
Links with the other SAP objectives
Develop integrated ways of working between Tackling Barriers to Employment,
Equipping Young People for Success and other SAP Objective Groups to
deliver interventions to Young People who have registered on the system
How are you planning to involve beneficiaries in the design of the project?
The opportunity to involve young people in the design of various initiatives will vary as
they range from national policy which cannot be influenced to local projects where
there is much greater opportunity to do so. Each project will consider if/how young
people might be consulted or involved
What data requirements will you need?
Data requirements will vary for each project and will be scoped once we have
agreement from the SAP to proceed
How are you embedding some of the golden threads - clean recovery/growth,
productivity, place and mental health?
The various initiatives described above will, where possible, explicitly embed the
golden threads above as appropriate for each project. However, some such as mental
health will be more prominent that others.