Friday, October 22, 2021

“Pioneering” skills strategy to support York through COVID-19

A “pioneering” ten-year skills strategy to support York, its residents and businesses as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been formally endorsed.

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, Cllr Andrew Waller, has endorsed the strategy, which has been created following extensive consultation with local employers and stakeholders, at a Decision Session meeting last month (28 September).

Developed by York’s Skills and Employment Board, which was created in response to the emerging impact of the pandemic on the city’s economy, the strategy sets out to create: “Pioneering provision aligned to the needs of the city, its people and its businesses developed and delivered in partnership to support economic growth and attract, retain and develop talent.”

Focusing on eight key principles, the ten year strategy puts place, people, businesses, partnerships, technology and the city’s ambitions to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, at its heart. It sets out how partners across the city can maximise their individual impacts by working together.

Key principles:

  • foster a culture of lifelong learning
  • put mental health and wellbeing at the centre of what we do
  • focus on the demand for skills from businesses and residents as a priority
  • ensure individuals have the all-round ‘people’ skills that employers want
  • build and champion partnerships to enhance all aspects of skills provision
  • positively include disadvantaged people when planning and delivering skills provision
  • embrace technology and digitisation to maximise opportunities for people and businesses
  • contribute to Net Zero ambitions by proactively adapting and developing skills provision

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, City of York Council, said: “This ten year strategy, based on a partnership approach, puts all York residents, businesses and our key ambitions for the city, at the very heart of York’s skills evolution. This will ensure that we can build back stronger and greener from the Covid pandemic addressing the challenges and opportunities it has brought.

“I’d like to thank all the local businesses and stakeholders who have helped to shape the strategy. Their input makes sure that it is based on practical experience from small and large businesses, who have adapted and transformed the way they work and develop skills across the city.

“Our ongoing work, which will now be supported by the new strategy, will enable us to rapidly respond to the challenges our city faces and ensure we have the local skilled workforce to support sustained and better paid employment and the emerging ‘green jobs’.”

Lee Probert, Chair of the City Skills and Employment Board and Chief Executive and Principal of York College, said: “This strategy signals an important commitment to working in partnership across the city to ensure that we have a first class education and skills offer, which meets the needs of individuals and employers.

“This long-term strategy provides a framework, not only to meet current and new education and skills priorities, but also to use the power of education and skills to contribute to delivering other key priorities such as net-zero and improving mental health and wellbeing in our communities. I’m really looking forward to working with partners to deliver the ambitions we’re all committed to.”

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