Issue - meetings
Employment of interns, apprentices and work experience students
The Scrutiny Committee requested a briefing on how many apprentices have been taken on by the Council and in which departments, as well as tasks undertaken and opportunities for career progression.
Why is it on the agenda?
For the Scrutiny Committee to consider the employment of apprentices by the Council. The Committee is asked to note the report and may wish to provide comment to the Board Member and officer and/or make recommendations to the City Executive Board.
Who has been invited to comment?
· Councillor Pat Kennedy, Board Member for Education & Skills;
· Jarlath Brine, OD & Learning Advisor.
- App. 1 - Centre for Cities report on apprenticeships, item 10 PDF 2 MB
- App. 2 - Oxfordshire LMI - Current jobs, item 10 PDF 1 MB
- App. 3 - Work Experience Guidance Master, item 10 PDF 152 KB View as DOC (10/4) 98 KB
- App. 4 - Apprenticeships Levy briefing note, item 10 PDF 116 KB
Councillor Fooks addressed the Committee. She welcomed the report, commented on the importance of the scheme and asked whether there was any scope to extend the geographical area of the scheme.
The Board Member, Young People, Schools and Skills and the Organisational Development & Learning Advisor introduced the report.
The Committee heard that the Council was in the process of recruiting 21 apprentices as part of a campaign that focuses on OX1 to OX4 postcode areas and closes on 30 June 2016. The Committee was advised that fifty-nine applications had been received (as of 7 June 2016), with approximately half of these applicants resident in the City. The Committee considered whether the policy of recruiting applicants who were resident in the City reflected the realities of the local labour market, given the very high cost of living in Oxford and the high numbers of workers who commute in to the City.
The Committee had a wide-ranging discussion which considered the following points:
· broadening the age mix, pay rates and career progression opprotunities of Council apprenticeships
· encouraging a more co-ordinated approach with schools to raise awareness of apprenticeships
· particular focus is put on promoting apprenticeships for Black and Minority Ethnic pupils
· the lessons to be learnt from the Change 100 internship programme
· promoting links in with social housing providers and higher education colleges
· the role of the Skills Board in promoting apprenticeships
The Committee agreed that a report setting out the following recommendations should be submitted to the City Executive Board:
1. That consideration is given to extending the eligibility criteria for apprenticeships beyond the OX1 to OX4 postcode areas but with a preference for appointing applicants within these postcodes.
2. That consideration is given to broadening the age mix of Council apprenticeships by making more opportunities available to applicants over the age of 21.
3. That a more co-ordinated approach is taken in schools to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.
4. That a particular focus is put on encouraging Black and Minority Ethnic pupils to take up work experience placements and apprenticeships.
5. That the Council considers what can be learnt from the Change 100 internship programme (which is focused on talented disabled students), including their advertising and social media campaigns.
6. That the Council links in with social housing providers and higher education colleges to engage with hard to reach groups.
7. That further consideration is given to defining and promoting the Council’s brand and offer to prospective apprentices, including in terms of pay rates and career progression opportunities.
8. That the Council seeks to influence the Skills Board to do more to promote apprenticeship opportunities.
The Committee thanked the Board Member, Young People, Schools and Skills and the Organisational Development & Learning Advisor for an informative report which had generated a robust discussion of the issues. They requested a further report in 12 months time.