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Part 3 - Talent attraction and retention

We want to develop a new demand-led skills programme in close collaboration with employers. This will offer innovative pathways to high-quality jobs and curate bespoke training, recruitment, and continuing professional development and progression solutions that will increase productivity and sustain growth.

1.1 Action plan aim: Improve the careers, information, and advice offer for all residents of Ashfield

What we already have and do

  • Careers advice is already provided by secondary schools, though is not standardised. Available through Futures and The Careers and Enterprise Company
  • Ideas4Careers Ltd are delivering an Aspiring Careers Ashfield programme which is aimed at supporting students, parents and teachers explore local career opportunities 
  • The Primary Schools Partnership and the Secondary Schools Network bring in guest speakers to talk about the careers provision that is available and encourage collaboration
  • The Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) links schools to local employers for the benefit of young people across the region. This is through Futures, and The Careers and Enterprise Company
  • The North Notts Careers Hub brings together school staff, particularly those who lead on careers education, and provides them with additional support, resources, and training for their schools to deliver 'modern, 21st century careers education for every child, no matter their background or circumstance'. The careers hub also links the secondary schools in the district with employers, further education colleges and apprenticeship, and in-work training providers. This is to ensure young people in the region know about the options available to them after they leave education, and the different jobs open to them. Advice available through Futures, and The Careers and Enterprise Company
  • Partners such as Inspire Learning and Futures have funded provision to work with young people aged 16 to 18, who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET) to then be supported into entering education, employment or training
  • Adult residents (18 and over) have access to the National Careers Service, which offers free and impartial guidance to support progress into realistic jobs and training. Futures deliver this service in Ashfield
  • Universities have internal careers advisers to support graduates
  • Vision West Notts College has internal careers advisers for college leavers in collaboration with adult education
  • Residents can access T Levels, which are available at West Notts College. This consists of 80% in class and 20% industry placement post-GCSE and is equivalent to 3 A-Levels (roll out T Levels include: education/childcare, onsite construction, and engineering/manufacturing)
  • Significant investment into Sherwood Observatory for refurbishment and to include a new planetarium and education centre. This will help inspire residents to progress into the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) career sectors.

What we need to do

Develop a coordinated all-age careers 'Information, Advice, and Guidance' (IAG) offer:

1.1.6 Support schools in developing their internal Careers Platform.

  • Action completed: 1 May 2024

1.1.9 Explore funded provision to offer careers guidance to all adults in Ashfield.

1.1.13 Work with Nottinghamshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to develop their job matching services 'Nottinghamshire Opportunities' and 'Find a Job', improving traffic from residents and businesses.

1.1.14 Succeed in Ashfield: Secondary Schools Network to encourage businesses to sign up to work experience placements, and ensure a process is in place.

  • Action completed: 1 May 2024

1.1.16 Promote the Sherwood Observatory Science Discovery Centre and Planetarium with the Education and Skills partnerships. Measure the impact of the project and showcase.

1.2 Action plan aim: Increasing 1-Year business survival rates

What we already have and do

  • Enterprising Ashfield project is being delivered by Nottingham Trent University throughout Sutton in Ashfield and Kirkby in Ashfield. Part of this project is a 'Growth' programme, supporting businesses expand and increase their business survival rates. The programme supports those at all levels, from young entrepreneurs to skilled and experienced technical workers to established businesses by developing and enhancing their business skills
  • Ashfield Accelerator programme is a business support service being delivered by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. They focus on supporting businesses become more sustainable, help develop products and services, and also support workforce development
  • Ashfield District Council has a commercial property team, being able to support businesses set up and grow within the local area, with access to low rented units to use as their business address
  • 'Maker Space' from the High Pavement Business Hub in Sutton is available for start-up businesses to test and use equipment for their business for a small fee
  • Business and IP Centre (BIPC) works with members in Ashfield libraries, and offers business support and hosts relevant webinars and events. It also receives free access to the 'Grant Finder' tool
  • Ashfield District Council, along with our partners such as The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, has a business support service.

What we need to do

Offer support to businesses to ensure they continue trading after 1 year from their incorporation date.

1.2.1 Ensure the new High Pavement Business Hub in Sutton has available space for partners such as East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Nottingham Trent University, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver their business support services. 

1.2.2 Ensure partners that deliver business start-up programmes are referring their customers to a business support service after the course, delivered by Ashfield District Council and partners such as the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.

1.2.4 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to review and monitor the impact of the redundancy 'Triage' package for Ashfield residents. Ensure the Enterprising Ashfield 'Headstart' programme is included in its redundancy package.