Councillor Taylor, Vice-Chair of the Economic Regeneration and Transport Scrutiny Panel presented a report which outlined the findings, conclusions and recommendations following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of business and job creation, including the role of the local enterprise partnership.
The Board considered the following recommendations of the Panel based on the evidence received:-
(i) That the Executive notes the comprehensive level of support that is available to new and existing businesses in Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley, together with the opportunities for further growth presented by the establishment of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Enterprise Zone and Tees Valley City Deal.
2. That the Councils Integrated Youth Support Service takes action as follows:-
(a) To ensure that all Middlesbrough secondary schools, academies and colleges are aware of the need to be mindful of the requirements of employers and gear appropriate training and careers advice towards ensuring that young people are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make them employment-ready.
(b) To explore the possibility of widening the annual Choices careers advice event to include employers who are seeking apprentices or trainees.
(c) To encourage schools to ensure that careers information is provided to students before they choose their options for GCSE study.
3. That the Council takes action to review the position in terms of the employment of apprentices, in particular to:
(a) Introduce a formal Council policy on apprenticeships.
(b) Increase the number of apprentices across all Council departments and service areas.
(c) Ensure that opportunities are also made available for older apprentices.
(d) Consider how apprenticeship opportunities can be promoted/made available to young people in care.
(e) Promote the benefits of developing apprenticeship opportunities among partner organisations, including major local employers such as the National Health Service, as well as private sector employers.
4. That the Council liaises with training organisations, colleges and learning providers, other local authorities and the business sector to develop a more co-ordinated approach to supporting young people into employment across the Tees Valley.
5. That a progress report on the multi-agency approach that is being taken to address issues of youth unemployment is submitted to the scrutiny panel in approximately 12 months time.
In seeking clarification as to the extent of evidence sought from other organisations it was suggested that recommendation 4 above be widened to include bodies such as the NHS, Housing Associations, Mouchel, third sector and any other partners.
Specific reference was made to a review undertaken by the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel which had included consideration of evidence from housing associations and larger employers in terms of apprenticeships. Members supported the need for a more co-ordinated approach on what could be offered and how to support young people.
ORDERED as follows:-
1. That the findings and recommendations of the Economic Regeneration and Transport Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.
2. That as part of the Panels consideration of progress on the multi-agency approach in 12 months time information be sought on the approaches adopted and lessons learnt by other organisations such as those identified above.