Ambition for all to achieve

Ambition for all to achieve

“We want to support the creation of – not just more jobs – but better jobs for our young people and all of the three million people who live in Leeds City Region” Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council.

The Leeds City Region employment and skills plan Skilled People, Better Jobs 2016-2020 works to develop a pipeline of talent from primary and secondary schools to entry-level employees and career progressors to eliminate the City Region’s skills shortages, increase the productivity of its businesses and create economically viable careers to the people who live and work within it.

A leader in the national field of employment and skills
In July 2017, the Combined Authority, a leader in the national field of employment and skills, announced a landmark partnership with the West Yorkshire colleges. The partnership is based on a joint plan to align college training provision and the spend of the annual £56m Adult Education Budget with the needs of the Leeds City Region economy.

This, the latest in a long list of achievements, follows the successes of the City Region’s careers, apprenticeships and Skills Service programmes, including:

  • Creating more than 21,000 opportunities for young people to be inspired by local employers by connecting 130 of the City Region’s 160 schools with businesses
  • Reaching 10,739 young people between 11 and 16 years old by improving digital teaching in schools;
  • Up-skilling almost 10,500 employees in 849 businesses through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Skills Service; and
  • Supporting more than 1,200 businesses to offer apprenticeships.

On the horizon: growing, attracting and retaining talent

Over the next 12 months the City Region plans to continue its ambitious programme to grow, attract and retain the skills the economy needs.

In late 2017 the Combined Authority will launch an innovative careers campaign to raise the awareness of careers in three key employment sectors (digital, manufacturing & engineering and construction) among the City Region’s 11 to 18 year olds.
Careers, apprenticeships and training provision will also continue with aims to connect all 160 City Region schools with a local business leader, an offer to support businesses with the government’s new apprenticeship levy, and deliver robust skills diagnostics and plans.

A new programme aimed at training career changers in digital skills will launch in 2018, followed by a drive to encourage an influx of skilled digital workers into the region to support the economy’s growing digital business base.

The impact to date must be attributed to the strength of collaboration across the region. By working in partnership with training providers, local authorities, businesses and central government, people’s lives across the City Region are being transformed.

A strong history of partnership:

  • In 2010, nine of the City Region’s universities, 14 colleges and other training providers, established the Leeds City Region Skills Network to communicate to approximately 600 organisations and institutions, across 10 districts.
  • In 2015, the UK’s first Head Teacher Advisory Network was formed of head teachers from across the region to inform the Combined Authority and LEP’s work with schools.
  • Working with eight of the 14 City Region colleges, £79 million has been invested to develop world-class college facilities since June 2015.
  • The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, seven colleges united by a Joint Venture agreement, recently secured £5.5 million for projects to support progression for people in-work, informed by the City Region’s Employment and Skills Plan and the Leeds City Region labour market report.
  • UK-first partnership agreements are in place between the Combined Authority and seven West Yorkshire colleges to realign the spend of the annual £56 million Adult Education Budget with the needs of the economy.

For more information and to find out how you and your business can get involved please visit or contact 0113 348 1818.