Happy New Year! Here’s looking forward to the best possible year and decade ahead. In the first week back after a good few days, it is not uncommon to hear colleagues reflect on how hard it is to make the transition from holiday to work. Let’s take comfort that two thousand years ago the emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, was giving himself a pep talk to summon up the willpower to throw the blankets off each morning and get out of bed. He reminded himself and us that we are made for working together: ‘Whenever you have trouble getting up in the morning, remind yourself that you’ve been made by nature for the purpose of working with others’ – in so many words, people are depending on you – your purpose is to help us render this great work together – and we’re waiting and excited for you to show up!
Towards the end of last year, Tiffany provided some great examples of how our commitment to diverse apprenticeships is gaining pace across the Council including the On Site team. We supported the ABS Team to organise 22 interviews for 8 new apprenticeships, including a high proportion of candidates from equalities and other priority groups, providing adjustments so everyone could participate fully in the recruitment process. Over 250 parents and young attended the On Site open evening – and I was delighted to hear about the enthusiastic potential candidates including women and BAME community members. Jaya Kaur is a great role model and advocate for apprenticeships and for Bristol City Council as a diverse employer – if you get a moment take a look at the press article on the Bristol Live website.
I’m pleased to report in January we are starting an exciting new venture that will help catapult ESL work forward, this time supporting small local employers to tap into the local skills system, getting the support they need to provide experience of work, work trials, supported internships, apprenticeships, pre-recruitment and in work training, and ultimately new jobs. Small businesses have such a critical role to play in supporting thriving local economies – often providing small, friendly working environments without the added cost and burden of travel to jobs with larger employers on the other side of the city.
Just before Christmas we were successful in applying to the Local Government Association to be part of a national ‘Work Local’ pilot. Through this project we will learn from seven other local authority partnerships, as well as benefiting from consultant support with research and partner meetings here in Bristol. This project will involve both Economic Development and ESL teams – reaching as many small employers as possible, empowering local residents and partners to shape our working model, using this programme to create more great live changing opportunities for young people and adults – initially in South Bristol then moving round the cities priority areas over the next 3 years.