Priority 4: workplace skills

Every young person in West Somerset should be equipped to succeed in the world of work

Why is this an issue?

  • a significantly lower percentage of pupils from West Somerset go on to attend higher education compared to elsewhere in Somerset. Only 26% of 16- to 18-year-olds, who took Alevels or other level 3 qualifications in the 2013 to 2014 academic year, attended university the following year, compared to 38% in Somerset and 49% nationally
  • a higher than national average number of residents living in West Somerset are qualified to NVQ4 and above (which includes qualifications such as a degree or equivalent). However, this is largely due to the significant inward migration of retired people, which is unlikely to have much impact on the local labour market
  • a higher than average proportion of the working age population is without a level 2 qualification. This is because local job opportunities often require low skill levels
  • adults participating in all forms of education tend not to achieve similar levels of sustained outcome as in other parts of Somerset. We can do more to help adults develop skill levels required by the West Somerset economy

We will:

  • build on the CEC commitment, developing a campaign to ensure that local businesses increase employment opportunities for local people by prioritising apprenticeship and training programmes in West Somerset
  •  establish an apprenticeship hub in West Somerset that as information service for employers, providers and young people, about the availability of apprenticeships, encouraging take-up and completion
  • deliver an adult skills learning offer, particularly focused on enabling women in West Somerset to make more of the local employment opportunities. We will also work with the Employment Hubs that already provide access to job-related services and advice, to deliver more English and maths learning opportunities for adults
  • create a culture of lifelong learning by connecting employers, training providers and educational  institutions. By September 2018 we will have a clear plan for increasing and improving work-related training in West Somerset

Our targets

  • the proportion of young people progressing to higher education will put West Somerset in the top half of the country
  • we will improve apprenticeship start and completion rates so they are as high as, or higher than, the rest of Somerset