Agenda and minutes

MCA - Education, Skills and Employability Board - Monday, 12th December, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Remote

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting.


Apologies for absence were noted as above.


Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda


It was noted that the Monitoring Officer had, in accordance with the Constitution, granted a dispensation for the members of this Board who are also Members of the constituent Local Authorities, relieving those Members from the restriction on participating and voting on Item 10 on this agenda by virtue of any pecuniary interest they have arising from their status at the constituent Local Authorities, on the grounds that the business of the MCA would be impeded without the dispensation.


The following declarations of interest were made by members and observers:

  • Dan Fell since the last meeting had become a Governor of the DN Colleges Group.
  • Professor Kevin Kerrigan’s employer, Sheffield Hallam University is a participant in skills provision programmes.

Angela Foulkes, in relation to capacity as Sheffield College Chief Executive.


Urgent items / Announcements




Public Questions of Key Decisions




Minutes from Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 340 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 26th October 2022 be agreed as a true record, with the amendment that Angela Foulkes was in attendance.


Matters Arising / Action Log pdf icon PDF 193 KB


It was noted that the further detail on Adult Education Budget financial performance requested by the Board was provided in Agenda Item 10 of this meeting.


RESOLVED: to note updates to the Action Log.


South Yorkshire Bus and Coach Driver Training and Retention Programme Proposal pdf icon PDF 307 KB


The South Yorkshire Bus and Coach Driver Training and Retention Programme Proposal was presented to the Board. The purpose of this proposal was to create a programme which responded to ongoing issues with the training, recruitment and retention of bus and coach drivers in the region.


The proposal was modelled on a similar scheme which had taken place in West Yorkshire. It would specifically focus on signposting participants to employment opportunities within SME operators in the region and would be funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB).


Members of the Board expressed a desire for the larger bus operators in the region to make contributions to the scheme, such as supporting in raising awareness of it. It was confirmed that the MCA had been working collaboratively with providers to address the challenges of driver recruitment and retention through the Enhanced Partnership and Transport and Environment Board. The larger operators already had significant training programmes in place, but this programme would specifically seek to support smaller operators. It was added that larger providers were more likely to remove less profitable services, and this scheme would also seek to protect those routes.


It was also asked whether bus companies in the region were working with the MCA to enable residents to access other types of work. 


ACTION: Executive Director of Strategy & Development - to take forward an action to explore with transport colleagues opportunities to gain contributions from operators.


It was confirmed that the performance of such a programme would be reported back to the Board using existing regular programme performance reporting, including the possibility of reporting on the employment outcomes of participants with large or SME operators.


The Board asked what aspect of the programme would address the retention problem with drivers. A response was given that the programme would seek to support those who show an interest in bus driving by connecting them with opportunities for training and employment across the region and support smaller operators share good practice in the retention of their drivers. There was also an ongoing piece of work at the MCA on safety for staff and passengers on public transport, which would contribute to some of the challenges faced in customer service roles.


RESOLVED: That the Board agree to the use of £385,000 AEB funds and to allow authority to commission the project.


Multiply Contracting Approach


(Angela Foulkes left the meeting.)


A paper seeking approval for the commissioning approach of the Multiply programme in 2022/23 and for 2023/24 and 2024/25was presented to the Board. It set out proposals on how commissioning the first year of the programme, part of the People and Skills funding of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.


RESOLVED: That the Board approves the recommendations in the report.



Skills Bootcamps - Wave 4 pdf icon PDF 271 KB


(Angela Foulkes re-entered the meeting.)


A report seeking permission to progress with the application of Wave 4 of Skills Bootcamps was presented to the Board. It outlined a skills programme which sought to progress individuals into employment or new roles within digital skills, green skills, and in health and professional services leadership and management.


A grant of £724,000 was being sought for the first tranche, with confirmation from the Department for Education (DfE) expected in December or January.


The Board asked whether the employment outcomes committed to in this programme were achievable. It was confirmed that, as the DfE placed a strong focus on employment outcomes in Skills Bootcamps delivery, realistic targets had been set in the proposal. However, it was recognised that achieving these employment outcomes would be a challenge. 


The Board welcomed the proposal and requested that it be closely aligned with Local Authority skills strategies, and engagement with the needs of employers in the region.


ACTION – Assistant Director Employment & Skills: to align delivery of Skills Bootcamps with Local Authority skills strategies, and to engage with the needs of employers in the region in relation to them.


RESOLVED: That the Board approve:

1. The subject areas for Wave 4.- Skills Bootcamps as set out in paragraph 2.2 below.

2. Delegated authority to Head of Paid Service and Chief Finance Officer to apply for Wave 4 - Skills Bootcamps.


Adult Education Budget Policy Update


(Angela Foulkes left the meeting.)


A report proposing updates to Adult Education Budget Policy was presented to the Board. It gave detail on performance of AEB providers in 2021/22.


RESOLVED: That the Board approves the recommendations in the report.



Careers Strategy Sub Group Proposal pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Additional documents:


(Angela Foulkes re-entered the meeting.)


A report proposing establishment of the South Yorkshire Careers Group (All Age) sub-group was presented to the Board. It was noted that, though the subjects covered in such a sub-group are already part of the MCA’s work, this group would provide more opportunities to discuss and address strategic challenges within careers strategies.


The sub-group would feed into the Education Skills and Employability (ESE) Board, with a standing agenda item to update on its work at each ESE meeting.


The Board made the following suggestions for additions to the group’s membership:

  • A representative from the South Yorkshire Colleges Group
  • Greater representation for adult career pathways


It was acknowledged that it may take some changes to the Group’s membership to reach its final formation, but that the pipeline to schools currently needed more support, and so was a strong focus in its membership.


It was noted that MCA Officers would be meeting with the Department for Work and Pensions regarding the National Careers Service, and how it would feed into this area.


RESOLVED: That the board:

1. Support the formation of a sub-group to the board from the All-Age Careers group

2. Agree the terms of reference proposed in Appendix A


Regional Skills Advisory Board Update


A verbal update was given to the Board on the Regional Skills Advisory Board, noting that:

  • It was agreed at the previous meeting that the work of the Skills Accelerator Board and the Skills Advisory Network would be combined into the Regional Skills Advisory Board (RSAB).
  • The RSAB had met for the first time in November, with a broad range of stakeholders represented and positive discussions had.


A key focus for the RSAB in future would be:

·         Providing advice and solutions to feed into the MCA’s work, specifically regarding rolling out a curriculum of ‘green skills’ with employers.

  • Following the establishment of an MCA Skills Strategy, investigating how to add new approaches and more value to the MCA’s skills work.
  • Having greater involvement in the work of the ESE Board; taking direction from it and suggesting discussion topics and solutions to be raised at ESE Board meetings.


The Board welcomed the update, and suggested that there was possible work to be done to confirm the relationship between the ESE Board, RSAB and Careers Strategy Sub-Group.


RESOLVED: to note the update.


Any Other Business