The report of the Interim Strategic Director, Children’s Services (Document “AJ”) provides an update on Get Bradford Working and Skills for Work and provides details of achievements and future plans.
(1) That the Committee note the content of this report and welcome the continued success of Get Bradford Working in providing access to employment opportunities for those living within Bradford and the District.
(2) That the Committee comment on the work of the partnership in delivering GBW.
(3) That the members of the Committee promote GBW and STEP within their networks.
(Phil Hunter – 01274 439575)
The report of the Interim Strategic Director, Children’s Services (Document “AJ”) provided an update on Get Bradford Working and Skills for Work and provides details of achievements and future plans.
The Assistant Director, Performance, Commissioning and Partnerships was in attendance and invited by the Chair to introduce the report. She explained that Get Bradford Working drew together key initiatives which tackled the issues and barriers facing Bradford’s residents in the labour market. GBW represented in excess of £16.5 million of investment, by Bradford Council and partners including: Jobcentre Plus; Incommunities; and Leeds City Region.
The Assistant Director was accompanied by Afzal Khalifa. He stated that making a decision about how to start your career could be a difficult task however there were lots of different options available for young people to gain a starting boost in their careers. Afzal had been successful in being awarded the Apprentice of the Year.
A question and answer session ensued:
· In relation to the programme that had focused on supporting 19-24 year olds into employment and the promotion of Apprenticeships to young people and businesses, how many young people continued with their employment?
o Between 2,000 and 3,000 young people continued in employment;
· How were people with convictions being assisted?
o The Council has trained advisors on the team who engaged with employers to give people second chances in their lives to better themselves;
· Was there advice available for individuals with convictions to help them move forward in life?
o How ex offenders should be supported was continuously being addressed. The Council’s recruitment processes were also being looked at;
· How were jobs and opportunities being addressed to meet the needs of today’s society?
o The Centre of Excellence had been launched in September at the art gallery which entailed engagement on a creative level with representatives from diverse companies. The Get Bradford Working and Skills for Work had been focused on 14-19 year olds provision through a more holistic approach with higher national skills by engaging with the NHS, CCGs and other care providers so that young people had the skills to meet the needs of new jobs;
· Had discussions taken place with the armed forces in regards to people returning back to Bradford but finding it difficult to adjust to normal society?
o This had not been considered but would be explored;
· There was a high level of unemployment in the West Constituency. Had there been any engagement work with parent involvement?
o Yes there had been parent involvement and and further work was still planned; and,
· How were parents being engaged?
o Through educational materials, designing of pamphlets containing various careers and providing clear and concise advice.
During the discussion the following comments were made:
· For the success of future planning, it was important to engage with the Probation, Armed and the Prison Service so that people who are lacking the essential skills for employment be assisted and supported;
· A difference to the quality of life is made to individuals who have taken part;
· Bradford was lagging behind Leeds and this was due to lack of creation of new jobs;
· Leeds was a city on a larger scale and could not be compared to Bradford;
· Women deserved to be treated with greater respect in order to drive them forward;
· Despite being hit hard with the reductions of levels of funding, it was still about changing attitudes of all involved; and,
· This was a fantastic model and it was paramount that it be shared for good practice through publicity.
(1) That Afzal Khalifa be congratulated on his Apprentice of the Year Award.
(2) That the Committee notes the content of the report and welcomes the continued success of Get Bradford Working in providing access to employment opportunities for those living within Bradford and the District.
(3) That the continued success of Skills for Work and its delivery of learning and apprenticeships across the District be welcomed.
(4) That the Members of the Committee agree to promote Get Bradford Working (GBW) and Skills, Training and Employment Pathways (STEP) within their networks.
(5) That officers make arrangements for the Committee to visit one of the Industrial Centres of Excellence.
(6) That reports detailing (a) Skills for Work and, (b) Progress against the Workforce Development Plan be presented to the Committee in 12 months.
ACTION: Interim Strategic Director, Children’s Services