Agenda and minutes

MCA - Education, Skills and Employability Board - Monday, 6th February, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: South Yorkshire MCA, 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ

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




Urgent items / Announcements




Public Questions of Key Decisions




Minutes from Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 12th December 2022 be agreed as a true record.


Matters Arising / Action Log pdf icon PDF 207 KB


RESOLVED: to note that all actions in the Action Log were now closed.


Updates were given on each of the recently closed items:

  • As smaller employers are the focus of the bus driver training programme, it was concluded that sponsorship from large providers would not be required.
  • The contracting approach to the Multiply programme had been updated based on member feedback, and a new paper was being presented at this meeting.

The specification for Skills Bootcamps was now live, and employers and Local Authority partners had been engaged in its design.


Change of Agenda Order


The Chair announced a change of order to the agenda to take formal decisions before discussion items. Therefore, agenda item 8 was to be considered before agenda item 7.


Regional Skills Advisory Board Update


A verbal update on the Regional Skills Advisory Board (RSAB) was presented by Angela Foulkes.


It noted that a second meeting of the Board had now taken place, at which:

  • Mapping of the skills provision landscape in South Yorkshire had been undertaken with employers and providers
  • Some common gaps and needs in the region had been identified, including digital skills, green skills and developing resilience in the skills system
  • It had been agreed that the Board would meet bi-monthly
  • It had been requested that a draft of the SYMCA Skills Strategy be presented to the March meeting


At the next meeting, the Board would consider:

  • Local skills strategies for common themes and needs
  • The development of the South Yorkshire Skills Fund
  • The Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), with a primary focus on digital skills
  • Green Skills
  • Developing skills resilience


It was noted that research projects had been taken forward from the Skills Advisory Network. These included a focus on those who are routinely Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs), and how employers can contribute to reducing the number of NEETs.


RESOLVED: To note the update and to invite CADA Consulting to a future meeting of the RSAB Board. 


ACTION: Assistant Director Employment & Skills to invite CADA Consulting to attend the March meeting of the RSAB Board.


Programme Performance and Approvals pdf icon PDF 291 KB


A Programme Performance and Approvals Report was presented to the Board for approval.


Following a successful bid to the programme, the MCA had secured £724,500 to deliver Skills Bootcamps in the following areas:

  • Digital – Software development
  • Construction Green Skills
  • Health / Professional Service


RESOLVED: To approve that delegated authority be given to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Section 73 and Monitoring Officer to enter into legal agreements for the Skills Bootcamp programme.


An update on performance of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) Programme was given, noting that:

  • 24 partners were currently delivering provisions across the programme
  • 52% of expenditure on core provision had been achieved by December 2022, which did not include community learning
  • Procured provision delivery was at 92%, a significant increase from the same time in the previous year
  • Some providers of procured provision were reaching the limit of their allocations, so it was possible that further funding awards may be required, and funding re-distributed from lower performing providers.
  • Work was being undertaken to ensure that procured provision was being utilised fully in Doncaster, which currently had 83.32% of delivery from core grant providers


RESOLVED: To note the programme performance update.


Skills Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 245 KB


An update report on the development of the SYMCA Skills Strategy was presented. It noted that:

  • CADA Consultancy had completed a series of workshops with stakeholders, and work was now underway to identify key opportunities, gaps and risks which need addressing in the strategy
  • The issues identified in this work would then be tested with relevant groups such as the RSAB, colleges and training providers, and employers
  • The final strategy would establish a set of shared priorities for the region, a detailed outcomes framework and an implementation plan
  • An outcomes framework would be structured in terms of short-, medium- and long-term goals.


Key themes which had been identified so far were:

  • Creating an inclusive skills economy which caters to those who are hardest to engage, such as NEETs and vulnerable groups
  • Digital skills
  • Green skills
  • The potential of both cultural and creative sectors and health and social care


ACTION: Assistant Director Employment & Skills to share more detail on the CADA research with Board members outside of Board meetings.


Board members noted the need to look at existing learning provision infrastructure in the region, such as use of ‘learning passports’, and the possible need to use a Skills Strategy to support new capital investment to support skills building in the region.


ACTION: Cllr Lani-Mae Ball to share information on Doncaster work on NEETs and care leavers.


RESOLVED: To note the update.


Apprenticeships Update pdf icon PDF 237 KB


An update report on Apprenticeships was presented, which included:

  • The development of an Apprenticeship Levy Matchmaking Service which would link small businesses seeking apprentices with Apprenticeship Levy paying employers
  • That the Apprenticeship Hub proposal previously approved by the Board was now undergoing the MCA Assurance process. Further detail on the operation of the Apprenticeship Hub had now also been shared with local partners.
  • Ongoing MCA activity in relation to National Apprenticeship Week


(Kate Josephs left the meeting.)


Members asked how the Matchmaking Service would address the reduction in the number of apprenticeships being delivered. A response was given that the service would complement activity in schools as well as employers.


Further, it was noted that it was currently very difficult for small employers to deliver apprenticeships, but that the matchmaking service would remove some bureaucracy, as well as fully funding training for both existing workforce and new employees for those taking part.


It was noted that Greater Manchester Combined Authority had seen 300 companies deliver apprenticeships through their own matchmaking service, securing £4m worth of apprenticeships, including in the public sector such as for apprentice firefighters. West Yorkshire Combined Authority had secured £3m work of apprenticeships through their service, including pledges by large employers such as Morrisons and Amazon.


ACTION: Senior Development Manager to share more detail on the delivery of the Matchmaking Service with members outside of Board meetings as appropriate.


RESOLVED: To note the update and support the progression of this work.


All Age Careers Group Update


A verbal update on the All Age Careers Group was presented.


At its first meeting on 16th January advisors from across age areas for careers advice and guidance had met and agreed to consider the possible use of the START platform for adult careers advice.


An increase in membership from Local Authority partners and the Universities and Chambers had also been agreed.

RESOLVED: To note the update


Multiply Contracting Approach pdf icon PDF 529 KB


A paper seeking progression of the commissioning approach of the Multiply programme in 2023/24 and 2024/25 to the MCA Board, was presented for approval.


The report noted that:

  • Contracting was now ongoing for year 1 of Multiply
  • Concerns raised by members in the previous meeting had been addressed in the proposed approach to years 2 and 3. It was hoped that this would maximise the impact of the funding by having Local Authorities take on the role of grant funders in each area


The short timescale to deliver year 1 of funding was raised by Board members, and it was noted that where any under delivery was likely the MCA would need to work closely with partners to address it.


RESOLVED: That the Board considers and approves the approach to procuring provision for Multiply as set out in this paper for 2023/24 and 2024/25 for progression to the MCA Board for approval.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 127 KB


A Forward Plan for future meetings of the Board was presented.


Board members suggested the following additional items for future Board meetings:

  • Apprenticeship Hub Activity


RESOLVED: To note the Forward Plan.


Any Other Business