This week it was great to get the whole ESL team together, down by the river at the Port of Bristol Sports and Social Club. I know that Alison was delighted to have a chance to meet everyone, to share a bit about her background and vision for the Division, and generally enjoy the energy and commitment so in evidence across our team. Huge thanks to everyone involved in the planning and organisation – including the seasonal quiz.
And now we now know the outcome of the general election – a Conservative majority with an increased certainty that we will be leaving the European Union in 2020. As the new Cabinet is formed and ministers work with civil servants to progress manifesto commitments, I thought it might be useful to list out some of the policy areas that are likely to impact across the Employment, Skills and Learning Team over the coming Parliament:
- There will be a new National Skills Fund worth £3 billion intended to ‘transform the lives of people who have not got onto the work ladder and lack qualifications, as well as people who are keen to return to work from, say, raising a family or switch from one career to another’. This fund will provide matching funding for individuals and SMEs for high-quality education and training.
- £500 million of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be used ‘to give disadvantaged people the skills they need to make a success of life’.
- There will be a National Strategy for Disabled People that will look at ways to improve opportunities for disabled people in terms of housing, education, transport and jobs. Increased SEND funding will support pupils, students and adults to get careers advice, internships and transition into work – and to reduce the disability employment gap.
- English Language teaching will be boosted ‘to empower existing migrants and help promote integration into society’.
- The Youth Futures Foundation will invest at least £90 million to improve employment outcomes for young people.
- Employers will be supported to invest in skills and to look at how we can improve the working of the Apprenticeship Levy.
Let’s see – potentially there are some new resources here that we can draw on to increase our support for Bristol young people and adults to improve their skills, employability and well-being.
Best wishes Jane