Introduction

The Brighton and Hove City Employment and Skills Recovery Plan was developed in response to the impact on employment and skills in the city caused by the:

  • Coronavirus pandemic
  • end of the transitional arrangements with the EU
  • extensive policy reforms to the further and higher education landscape and the Plan for Jobs announced by the government in July 2020

The plan included 9 objectives and a priority objective on decreasing digital exclusion and increasing digital inclusion across the city. This is a priority objective which cuts across the 9 objectives.

This document outlines the key activities that have been undertaken towards achievement of the plan’s objectives.

Unemployment

According to unemployment data just under 6,000 people were unemployed leading up to the pandemic in March 2020.

After a sharp rise in April and May 2020, it remained at around 14,000, until the first signs of recovery in May 2021. Since then, there has been a reduction in unemployment.

Number of people unemployed - all ages

  March April May June July August
2020 5,860 10,335 14,080 13,285 13,855 14,210
2021 14,245 13,906 12,865 11,710 11,525 10,975

Objective 1 - Interventions that support young people

Interventions supporting young people into education, training, work, and apprenticeships that lead to a decline of NEETs and youth unemployment in the city and address. These include:

  • local employer participation with the Kickstart Scheme and creation of meaningful opportunities - resulting in young people moving into sustainable work
  • local implementation of the expanded youth offer
  • establish a physical and virtual Youth Employment Hub in the city
  • creation of new high quality Traineeship opportunities in the city aligned to occupational standards - to support progression into apprenticeships and sector specific jobs 

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • the Kickstart scheme has been successfully rolled out in the city, with 500 young people aged 16 to 24 participating on the scheme with 200 employers
  • Brighton & Hove City Council has appointed a Pre-employment Co-ordinator to lead Kickstart within the council
  • Young People Specialist Work Coach Teams have been established at the city’s Job Centres and new provision selection tools ensure that clients receive the most appropriate support
  • Brighton Dome and Future Creators hosted a Kickstart Jobs Fair which attracted 30 employers and up to 200 young  people - 146 digital badges were awarded for participation
  • New Youth Employability Work Coaches have been recruited to work with 10% of the most vulnerable young people at each Jobcentre - 1 at each Jobcentre
  • the BHCC Youth Employment Hub was launched in the city in June It has had 270 starts, 53 work outcomes including Kickstart, 2 work placements, 179 social inclusion steps and 9 certifications.
  • 5 providers have secured contracts to deliver Traineeships to support young people in the city with delivery across a range of sectors
  • youth unemployment is declining

Number of unemployment people in the city - age 16 to 24

  March April May June July August
2020 1,080 1,720 2,540 2,610 2,830 2,845
2021 2,795 2,680 2,440 2,170 2,035 1,990

Objective 2 - National Careers Service and Jobcentre Plus interventions

Local delivery of National Careers Service and Jobcentre Plus interventions that support people into work, lead to a decline of unemployment in the city and support sector skills gaps by:

  • delivering high quality careers, information, advice and guidance to the unemployed and economically inactive seeking employment, utilising labour market information to respond to local sector demand
  • delivering a sector-based skills academy offer that responds to local employer demand for skills
  • maximising the city’s use of the Flexible Support Fund to fund projects or interventions that move people closer to employment
  • enhancing local workforce capacity to support delivery

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • Flexible Support Funding of £183,905 has been awarded to the council by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the Youth Employment Hub which provides significant new resources to address youth unemployment in the city and address digital inclusion aims - BHCC have made an in-kind contribution of £97,467
  • flexible support funding enabled the Brighton Dome and Future Creators to provide pre employment support to young people to help them into Kickstart roles - digital badges were awarded to recognise new skills learnt.
  • 62 Sector Workforce Academy Programmes with 351 customer starts were delivered between 1 March and 31 August
  • vacancies in the city have grown across most sectors driven by an increase in demand for workers by shop owners, wholesalers, logistic companies, adult social care, and the hospitality sector
  • the DWP Work Coaches can access a Flexible Support Fund allocation of up to £200 per job seeker to support with personal barriers, including IT procurement to enable digital inclusion
  • 90 new DWP Work Coaches were recruited to meet increased demand caused by the pandemic - they are working intensively with the recently unemployed and customers aged 18 to 24
  • 740 jobseekers started on the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) Work and Health Programme

Number of JETS participants by Location

Worthing,
Chichester,
Littlehampton and Bognor
Bexhill,
Hastings and
Eastbourne
Brighton
578 578 740

The new DWP Restart programme was launched in summer 2021 and there have been 421 Restart referrals and 231
starts to date, up to 18 October 2021.

Adult unemployment is reducing with a 22% reduction in the past 12 months (as of August 2020) and a 23% reduction since March 2021 over 6 months.

Number of unemployed people in the city - age 25 to 49

  March April May June July August
2020 3,355 6,325 8,540 7,855 8,165 8,335
2021 8,365 8,170 7,570 6,865 6,845 6,470

Objective 3 - Apprenticeships

High quality apprenticeships that meet employer skills requirements and provide progression pathways for residents:

  • continue to promote interventions that lead to an increase of high-quality apprenticeships in the city
  • collaborate with providers and businesses to plan for future skills needs

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • the council actively promoting Levy transfer opportunities to employers currently committing £437,815 to support 45 apprenticeships across 34 SMEs, charities and schools
  • 35 apprenticeships starting at the council during the review period, 19 new recruits and 16 existing members of staff are benefiting from an apprenticeship to support further skills development
  • a government apprenticeship incentive of £3,000 is now available to January 2022 for city employers who recruit new apprentices
  • The Department of Education ASK programme delivered 35 apprenticeship awareness activities in 9 Brighton and Hove schools, reaching 1,458 pupils and 199 parents
  • apprenticeship activities including promoting the government incentive and the councils levy transfer scheme, and a city graduation event held in June
  • apprenticeship participation levels have been relatively stable despite the pandemic, there are positive indicators that employers as part of their recovery, are looking to utilise apprenticeships for current and existing staff

Objective 4 - Accredited Adult Learning Programmes

Accredited Adult Learning Programmes that meet employer skills requirements and provide progression pathways for residents by:

  • providers working together to effectively utilise the Adult Education Accredited Learning Budget - this will ensure a varied and relevant curriculum offer with strong progression routes and pathways and for learners
  • making the new level 3 offer available, varied and accessible to residents in the city and delivered by local providers where possible
  • seeking opportunities to introduce skills bootcamp programmes

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • the councils Adult Education Hub was launched in September 2021 - it delivers training to meet the city’s current skills needs and first steps support to assist those furthest away from the labour market to move into sustainable employment or to progress into education - curriculum areas include, family learning, English, maths, ESOL, wellbeing workforce development, employability, leisure learning and digital skills
  • The Hangleton and Knoll Project and Whitehawk Inn deliver adult learning and engagement activities in the city with £40,000 of funding secured from Housing Revenue Account
  • Level 3 courses are now available in the city through the new entitlement including Association of Account Technicians (AAT) and Healthcare
  • skills bootcamps have been launched nationally and are now available to Brighton and Hove residents age 19 and over
  • Community Works and their member organisations have been delivering innovative engagement and employability programmes to those most in need within the city
  • The Sussex Chambers of Commerce was chosen by the Department for Education to develop a Local Skills  improvement Plan for the region - through the Trailblazer pilot the Chamber will work with employers and representative groups, to identify the local skills needs and identify potential solutions
  • The Chichester College Group led a consortium including the universities of Brighton and Sussex, to submit a bid to the Department of Education to establish an Institute of Technology in the Coast to Capital Region - the investment would create cutting-edge facilities for higher level technical training with a focus on digital and sustainable technologies

Objective 5 - Environment and skills

Access funds that facilitate the delivery of employment and skills interventions in the city and deliver projects that support the Grow Back Greener Strategy by:

  • developing and delivering the Decarbonisation Academy Pilot project in partnership with Coast to Capital LEP
  • delivering social housing decarbonisation retrofit programmes for homes and buildings at scale, working with LEP, academics and leading community sector providers
  • delivering public sector decarbonisation to fund energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrade measures - subject to successful funding bid

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • the Chichester College Group led a consortium bid including Greater Brighton Metropolitan College Group and HASVIC to secure £7 million of Strategic Development Funding to boost skills training in sustainable industries in the area through the delivery of five projects
  • alternative Energy & Hydrogen Technologies - led by CCG
  • Land Management Strategies and Practices for Environmental Land Management Schemes, led by Plumpton College with Brinsbury College
  • Electric Vehicle Training Centres - led by GB MET
  • Decarbonisation Academies in Sussex - led by East Sussex College Group
  • establishing Carbon Literacy and Sustainability Awareness - led by BHASVIC
  • Greater Brighton Economic Board has set up of a Task Force to ensure the city-region’s homes and buildings are fit for a zerocarbon future - skills development and job creation aims are included in its remit - this work will be overseen by Lewes District Council and led by the University of Brighton.
  • a bid to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures were submitted and alternative funding sources are being investigated

Objective 6 - Further and Higher Education reforms

Implement T-Levels and Further and Higher Education reforms in the city by:

  • making sure the infrastructure is in place to deliver T-Levels in the city by September 2023, when T Levels become a mainstream offer for eligible 16-19 providers (note roll out to all providers from September 2024)
  • engaging with and respond to Department of Education consultation Level 2 and 3 curriculum reviews
  • being an early adopter of Higher Technical Qualifications

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • GB MET is currently preparing to deliver the following T-Level routes from 2023/24: Construction, Education and Childcare, Digital, Health and Science
  • a response to the Post 16 Level 3 Curriculum Review Consultation was submitted by the council and the full government consultation response was announced in July
  • The University of Brighton has submitted three Higher Level Technical Qualification proposals to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, with delivery from 2023 if approved

Objective 7 - Addressing barriers for residents

Effective support is in place to address barriers for residents who are facing inequality in accessing the labour market. This includes but is not limited to:

  • age
  • race
  • disability
  • health or homelessness
  • insecure housing
  • digital poverty

To address barriers for residents we have:

  • made progress supporting all age groups with a disability to access pathways to employment and sustain paid work
  • made sure appropriate provision and pathways for residents who are homeless or in supported accommodation
  • made sure appropriate community learning provision pathways for residents requiring first step confidence building pathways, digital, maths, English and family learning
  • made progress supporting BAME residents to access pathways to employment and sustain paid work, including appropriate provision and pathways for ESOL learners

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • the SEND Network has aligned schemes of work to the City SEN Strategy 2020-25, members of the network report good retention and an increasing number of employment opportunities becoming available
  • Amaze continues to offer a space for young people to stay connected and reduce isolation and their Amazing Futures project supports progression activity
  • Team Dominica have been successful in supporting 10 young people who had been furloughed back into work - the young people undertaking supported internships have secured paid work post placement
  • Team Dominica and the council’s Supported Employment Team have supported employers and employees to retain paid work
  • Possibility People is a Disability Confident advocate/leader, this involves accreditation support for organisations on that journey, as well as working with employers to support people into work through their employment project
  • the Brighton Housing Trust has received renewed funding for its Accommodation for Work Project - it provides housing and support for homeless working people and those who want to get back to into work
  • the Work and Learning Group (WLWG) works collaboratively with stakeholders to maximise impact and reach, including the Youth Employment Hub, DWP, the Brighton and Home Young Homeless people working group, NCS, and Homeless Link
  • the DWP awarded £99,999 of Flexible Support Funding to the council to work in partnership with local services to provide a Multi-cultural Employability Support Hub - employability courses developed specifically  or migrants have been launched at the new Adult Education Hub - provision focuses on starting a business or enterprise and ESOL
  • the Launchpad Collective are now delivering an employability mentoring programme and an English for Work course
  • the Routes Programme, a partnership between Brighton Housing Trust, Community Works, The Hangleton and Knoll Project, and Workers Education Association, has been helping people furthest from the labour market to overcome barriers and support them into training and employment. Routes primarily supported residents over 50 and Black Asian and minority ethnic communities
  • the new Youth Employment Hub and Adult Learning Hub have created new multi-agency access points for residents
  • between April and July 2021 Digital Brighton and Hove Citizens Online delivered 5022 digital skills support sessions - 7 devices were loaned to residents and 22 devices were gifted - 9 New data packages, WIFI devices and dongles supplied, and 6 Digital Champions recruited and trained
  • 50+ unemployment is improving, although at a slower pace to other age groups

Objective 8 - Career education and work experience

A varied career education and experience of the world of work offer is available to all young people in the city, this includes:

  • supporting all young people in education to find out about and gain more experience of the world of work to make informed choices about their future education and career choices

Progress 

The progress so far includes:

  • all of the city’s school and colleges are engaged with the Enterprise Adviser Network - they have access to support, resources, and events - career leaders are invited to attend a half-termly virtual meeting - only two schools remain unmatched to Enterprise Advisers and this is being addressed
  • events have been funded by the CEC to support access to local and regional labour market information
  • 91% of young people progressing into year 12 and 13 in September 2021 had received an offer for post-16 education as part of the Department of Education September Guarantee

Objective 9 - Oversight and monitoring of funding streams

Ensure effective oversight and monitoring of funding streams which provide employability related support and services to:

  • identify the impact on local services of the cessation of significant funding streams, including EU ESF Funding, and take mitigating action

Progress

The progress so far includes:

  • a list of projects funded through EU funding streams has been collated to inform future planning