Agenda and minutes

Employment, Learning and Skills, and Community Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 27th June, 2016 6.30 p.m.

Venue: The Board Room - Municipal Building, Widnes. View directions

Contact: Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 or e-mail 

No. Item




          The Minutes from the meeting held on 21 March 2016 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.




The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.



Additional documents:


The recent Executive Board Minutes relevant to the Employment, Learning and Skills and Community PPB were submitted to the Board for information.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes be noted.


Employment, Learning & Skills and Community Policy & Performance Board Annual Report - 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and the Economy, which provided an Annual Report outlining the work carried out by the Employment, Learning and Skills, and Community Policy and Performance Board for 2014/15.


          The Chair wished to convey his thanks to Councillor Edge who had been Chair of the Board for the past 4 years and thanked Members and Officers for their support and hard work throughout 2015/16.


          RESOLVED: That the 2015/16 Annual Report be recommended to Full Council.



Presentation - Daresbury Open Days pdf icon PDF 192 KB


The Board received a presentation from the Public Engagement Manger at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Phill Day, titled ‘Daresbury Open Days’.  He was accompanied by this colleague Susan Smith.


He advised the Board that the Open Days would take place from 5 to 9 July 2016 at Sci-Tech Daresbury.  The presentation advised Members of the following:


·       The rationale behind Daresbury Open Week;

·       The aims for Daresbury Open Week;

·       The plan for each day and who will be attending;

·       Provided maps and itinerary for Family Day; and

·       Details of the Science Fair.


Further to Members queries the following was noted:


·       That school places for the event were allocated randomly once the school had expressed an interest in attending;

·       During the planning stage all schools in Halton had been contacted regarding the event; offering them the opportunity to participate;

·       Some Halton Schools had already visited STFC and some were coming to the event next week;

·       It was agreed that Halton schools should be given some priority as the facility was in Halton and staff at STFC would work to contact as many primary schools as possible;

·       For this event, the schools would be contacted again inviting them to come to the general open day; and

·       The STFC was an ongoing programme and public engagement was a priority and encouraged.


Phill Day and his colleague Susan Smith invited all Board Members to attend the open day on 9 July.  Councillor Edge also recommended that Members attend as she had seen the presentation which was impressive.  The Chair commented that Sci-tech Daresbury was a state of the art facility and was an asset to Halton with the potential to offer good employment opportunities.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the presentation and action points.




Apprenticeship Update: HBC Position Statement / Apprenticeship Policy Framework and the Apprenticeship Levy and Public Sector Target pdf icon PDF 258 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director People and Economy that provided:


·       the Council’s Apprenticeship Position Statement;

·       a brief overview of Halton Council’s proposed Apprenticeship Policy Framework; and

·       an outline of the significance of the Framework in light of the proposed introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and the Public Sector Apprenticeship Target.


It was reported that the Council had 13 apprentices with a further 9 apprentices in various stages of recruitment.  Work was being developed to introduce an Apprenticeship Policy and Guidance at Halton Borough Council with an aim to ensure uniformity and consistency of approach across the Council.  It would also bring together the relevant sections within the organisation, for example Policy, HR, Employment and Learning Skills, to ensure a co-ordinated approach.


The four elements of the Policy and Guidance were described to Members and they were advised that a further update would be provided to the Board as the work developed.


The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and Apprenticeship Public Sector Targets were discussed in detail in the report. 


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes


1)    the report;

2)    the contents and potential impact of the Framework/Apprenticeship Levy and Public Sector Target; and

3)    that further work was being developed in order to respond to the Apprenticeship legislation as outlined in the report.



Update of the Area Based Target Review of Further Education pdf icon PDF 231 KB


The Board received a report updating them on the development of the Area Based Review (ABR) of Further Education (FE) in the Liverpool City Region (LCR). 


Members were advised that the Area Based Review process formed part of the national reforms to the post-16 Education sector, with the aim of raising productivity and economic growth.  The purpose of the ABR process was outlined in the report together with information on the outcomes of the LCR Devolution Deal; who would be included in the Review; and the importance of the outcomes of the Review process. 


It was reported that the Review process would identify the current position and priorities for skills in the LCR.  Further it would promote discussion across the further education sector and encourage a collaborative approach to respond to local economic challenges and skills demands now and in the future, whether for infrastructure or curriculum changes. 


Members discussed the report and the potential risks to Riverside College.  The Chair advised the Board that a further report would be presented to the Board in September.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the potential implications for Halton.


Adult Learning Service - Update pdf icon PDF 301 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – People and Economy, which provided an update on the activity taking place in Adult Learning.  A presentation was made by Louise Faint from Adult Learning to accompany the report.


It was noted that in line with a national 24% Skills Funding Agency (SFA) funding reduction the 2015-16 accredited provision had been reduced, with the main qualification delivery focused on priority areas such as maths, English, employability, ICT and childcare.  Members were advised that established curriculum areas which produced good quality outcomes for learners with lower skills still remained, such as Family Learning and Craft based subjects. 


Members were advised that the Mental Health Programme was nearing its Year 1 end with 85 learners taking part.  Officers would advise if they had been selected to continue into Year 2 once the analysis of data had taken place.


Officers provided Members with information showing the profile of adults attending Adult/Family learning programmes in 2015-16 and information showing the demographic profile of adults attending Adult/Family learning programmes in 2015-16. 


Arising from the presentation Members discussed:


·       The reluctance of adults to learn numeracy and maths;

·       The importance of family learning and how the encouragement provided by schools helped parents to participate;

·       How the programmes were advertised to the general public;

·       Why the take up of courses was so low in Windmill Hill despite working with the Children’s Centre and carrying out leaflet dropping and advertising in the School; and

·       The need to target single parent families especially when the child starts school.


RESOLVED:  That the Board welcomes the progress made to date in managing an effective adult learning service.




Quarterly Policy Update pdf icon PDF 247 KB


The Board received a number of policy, legislation, consultation and guidance documents that were issued by Government departments and agencies and had varying degrees of relevance to issues on the employment, learning and skills agenda and related topics.


The report provided a brief summary of key announcements along with observations of local relevance, where appropriate, so Members could consider whether to initiate more detailed scrutiny and/or report to a future meeting.


RESOLVED: That the announcements are noted.



Performance Monitoring Reports for Quarter 4 of 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the performance management reports for quarter 4 of 2015-16 and were requested to consider and raise any questions or points of clarification, in respect of these.


The report detailed progress against service objectives and milestones, and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during quarter 4, for the following functional areas reporting to the Board:


·       Enterprise, Employment and Property Services; and

·       Community and Environment.


The Chair acknowledged the queries sent from Councillor Wallace on the day of the meeting in respect of the reports, and advised that these would be replied to after the meeting and copied to all Board Members.


In respect of paragraph 2.1, Councillor Edge requested information relating to the industries that had benefitted from the Liverpool City Region Growth Grant which was now closed.  Officers would circulate the information to all Members of the Board.


RESOLVED:  That the Policy and Performance Board receives the quarter 4 performance management reports.