gnsb minutes 17 may 2007 by 7ZRRUmF

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									                        GREATER NOTTINGHAM SKILLS BOARD
                           Minutes of Meeting, 17th May 2007


          Date:          Thursday 17th May 2007, at Nottingham City Council,
                         The Tea Room, The Council House, Nottingham

          Present:

          Patrick Nelson              Chair
          David Kirkham               Jobcentre Plus
          Nigel Jackson               LSC
          Simon Green                 Nottingham City Council
          Barry Horne                 Nottingham City Council
          Martin Gawith               GNP
          Geoff Hall                  New College Nottingham
          Jan Stanley                 Federation of Small Businesses
          Don Hayes                   Enable
          Nigel Hastings              Nottingham Trent University
          Ann Jones                   GO-EM
          Andrew Balchin              One Nottingham
          Helen Bell                  emda
          George Greszczuk            Bulwell Vision for the Strategic Alliance of LAPs
          Celia Morris                Nottinghamshire County Council
          Nicky Church                GNP
          Adam Jeffrey                GNP

          Apologies:

          Tom Stockwell               Jobcentre Plus
          Tracy Litherland            TUC
          Margaret Marson             NHS Trust
          Tony Graham                 Connexions



  Agenda Item                                      Discussion / Action
Minutes of        Matters arising:
March 22nd 2007
meeting &              1. GH commented that he would be representing City Colleges on GNSB whilst Nick
Matters Arising           Lewis will represent the colleges on the CEO’s group.
                       2. Regarding the recruitment of private sector representatives to GNSB, GH
                          suggested an independent rep. should join the Appointments Panel. The Board
                          agreed to proceed on the basis of NJ’s paper.
   Agenda Item                                    Discussion / Action
1. Hale          Hilary Hale and David Nelson, of Hale Consulting, presented some key findings and
Consulting       recommendations from the City Strategy Resource Mapping study which they have almost
Presentation     completed (due end of May).

                 Presentation, key points:
                     They sought to collect information from whatever organisation was funding
                       employability activity across Greater Nottingham (re: adult learning). The ILR
                       information was considered to be the “gold standard” and provided some of the
                       most useful data.
                     3 graphics were used to illustrate some key findings: the proportion of 18-64 year
                       olds in Employability Learning by ward showed there was a lot of activity in St.
                       Anns but less so in some other “priority wards”; there’s a question of the mix of
                       funding going into St. Anns (high proportion of ESF) compared to Clifton South
                       (high proportion of FE funding); and the continued success rate in priority wards
                       and across GN is actually quite encouraging.
                     On Cohesion and Connectivity – there is little tracking of the learner and therefore
                       not sure they are getting all the support they may require. Big question mark over
                       the “joined-up-ness” of the process. Also there is limited mainstreaming of good
                       projects and some missed opportunities, with potential to do much more to link
                       jobs and investment to the employability agenda.
                     On Capacity and Visibility – there is “capacity bleed”, and with ESF pretty much
                       absent in 2007 and diminishing project funding, the VCS is losing some good staff.
                       There is limited evidence of connectivity to employers / getting people into work
                       and the partners tend to measure inputs more rigorously than measuring impact –
                       are people finding work and staying in employment? Another question posed:
                       “where is the private sector in this process?”.
                     On Culture and Perceptions - there is a question mark over how well the partners
                       understand the collective employability arena and activities that comprise this. The
                       partners are advised to view brokerage for employment as important as the
                       brokerage of training – the focus to date tends to be on the latter.
                     Funding and Targets – much project funding is short term and project based,
                       which will pose more of a problem with the reduction in ESF and partners’ own
                       discretionary funding. Targets can lead to a lack of innovation in developing fresh
                       approaches and finding new solutions but the NRF programme stands out where
                       this has helped partners look at worklessness more collectively. The consultants
                       advocated this approach to become more common place and be adopted in
                       looking at utilising mainstream resources more effectively.
                     Recommendations: In summary these include: addressing governance issues and
                       developing executive structures; partnership prioritisation; develop a joint delivery
                       strategy and jointly plan mainstream activity; set worklessness targets; focus on
                       progression and added value; develop data protocols. Also: develop evaluation
                       criteria; confirm geography and phasing; co-ordinate client engagement; better
                       understanding of each others’ services; look at public sector as well as private
                       sector employers and recruitment procedures – do we do enough ourselves for the
                       commercial sector to follow suit?; focus discretionary funds; and “if you value it,
                       measure it”.

                 Discussion, key points:
                     DK commented that the study’s results paint a rather downbeat picture but that a
                       lot of the concerns and recommendations from this report have been picked up by
                       the City Strategy Business Plan. Also, he mentioned Nottingham has the best
                       performing skills coaching scheme in the country, inc. IAG work.
                     DH stated that Enable had increasingly taken on remotely managing VCS
 Agenda Item                                        Discussion / Action
                        organisations’ cashflows as the impact of reduced available funding was biting.
                        Also he expressed some concern that whilst locally the partners had been good at
                        accessing funding, if we increasingly “mainstream” activities then this may have a
                        detrimental impact on other core funding. He suggested the ACL Strategic Group
                        could be charged with looking at ways to reduce duplication on client engagement
                        activities.
                       BH thought there was a lot of information that the partners will need to consider
                        arising from this study and the Board should be looking at to address the issue
                        regarding the relatively weak correlation between areas of disadvantage and the
                        focus of resources. Making The Connection may be part of the solution but the
                        Board need to take a strategic view and address this important concern.
                       JS concurred that it was important to “follow through” on data collection and
                        monitoring to ensure there is clearer linkage to helping people into work.
                       NC suggested the link between employment and employability wasn’t too clear but
                        that City Strategy can help address this.
                       The Board welcomed the presentation and some of the “difficult messages” as well
                        as the more positive aspects of the findings.


                  Actions:
                  1: Hale Consulting will complete its report by the end of May and Board Members
                  will be able to access copies of it.
                  2. ACL Strategic Group to examine ways of reducing duplication regarding client
                  engagement activity.



2. One           Andrew Balchin made a presentation to the Board on some of the key issues for the LSP
Nottingham and   (One Nottingham) and in turn, its relationship to GNSB and the City Strategy.
GNSB
                 Key points:

                       At the end of 2005, the LSP for Nottingham was re-established as One
                        Nottingham.
                       Key context and Government demands upon the LSP include: the Community
                        Strategy; the Local Area Agreement; and the Neighbourhood Renewal agenda.
                       AB explained we are also now operating in the context of the Local Government
                        White Paper (2006) which emphasises a stronger / enhanced role for LSPs and
                        strengthened role of local government; the Lyons Review which enforces these
                        views; the Comprehensive Sending Review; and the new LAAs for 2008, whereby
                        funding is likely to be tighter.
                       The LSP has to get its act together on improving “governance” and by developing
                        the One Nottingham Board and a stronger executive body to plan and deliver,
                        there are growing expectations of the LSP.
                       One of the key relationships with GNSB needs to be in relation to the Economic
                        and Enterprise block of the LAA.
                       AB talked through a relationship diagram that he had issued for comment and
                        highlighted the need for strong links between GNSB and One Nottingham on areas
                        of mutual interest and remit.

                 Discussion:

                       Whilst the structure chart proposed related to the City Strategy and its governance
Agenda Item                                       Discussion / Action
                     arrangements and inter-relationships, GH asked for it to also make links to wider
                     government policy, especially in light of the imminent Leitch Implementation Plan.
                    BH emphasised the need for a clear structure to be agreed as it is a requirement
                     of City Strategy accountability.
                    SG added that it’s an opportunity for GNSB to act as the executive body to deliver
                     City Strategy and that this approach is worth supporting.
                    NJ expressed some concern that the structure appeared to be quite complex and
                     that with the embryonic Chief Executives’ Group aswell, the picture is even more
                     unclear.
                    MG believed the lines of communication from a staffing perspective are clearer
                     than the discussion suggests.
                    DK reported that Tom Stockwell had raised some concern over the perceived need
                     for 3 Task Groups – this was noted by the Board.

              On City Strategy Targets, Nicky Church referred to the paper that had been issued and
              explained that:
                  DWP has added 2 mandatory targets and the partners need to “sign up” to this by
                     the end of May, but the targets have been changing almost daily.
                  The overall reduction target in Nottingham is 3,242 by May 2009 which is now
                     seen by DWP as an “aspirational target” and rewards are more likely to emanate
                     from signs of innovation rather than purely meeting targets.
                  Both Liverpool and East London think these targets and the 5% stretch are too
                     challenging, but GNSB needs to take a view for itself.
                  In terms of funding for City Strategy, NC stated there would be 3 pots of funding:
                     approx. £1/3 million CS to build capacity (not for delivery); over £1million DAF; and
                     £reward monies – unknown.

              Discussion on targets:

                    JCP thinks this is a “stretch too far” as it stands, especially the target for lone
                     parents but the target for getting people off Incapacity Benefit may be achievable
                     with Pathways To Work coming on stream.
                    It is likely that numbers may go up first, before they decrease because of the
                     numbers coming onto the claimant register (a national not just a Nottingham
                     trend). Also, we need to be looking at “hard to reach” clients not just “cherry pick”
                     those easier to place into employment and partners should note that LAA / JCP
                     mainstream and Pathways To Work activity will also contribute towards achieving
                     these targets.
                    BH considered that the partners may be best accepting the challenging targets,
                     recognising that it still represents a relatively small proportion of those in benefits
                     generally, in the interests of moving this forward but MG cautioned that staff
                     involved in the delivery of City Strategy could become disillusioned working
                     towards targets they know cannot realistically be achieved.
                    There was significant further debate on this issue and the Chair summarised by
                     stating that it appeared we would be addressing the right target audience, move in
                     the right direction and generally welcome the opportunity to move forward on this
                     to unlock the funding but with the caveat that DWP clarify some of these targets.

               Actions:
               1: NC to draft a letter for GNSB to send to DWP to state the partners accept the
               targets on the proviso this will be a challenge and that if that whilst the partners
               will work to try achieve these targets, if there is a shortfall, this should not
               detrimentally affect the “rewards” due to the Nottingham Pathfinder.
  Agenda Item                                          Discussion / Action

   3. ESP           Helen Bell updated the Board on the Employment, Skills and Productivity (esp)
                    Partnership with a presentation:

                    Presentation key points:

                          Esp was launched in summer 2005, to bring the relevant partners together at a
                           regional level – in the arena of employment, skills, reducing worklessness and
                           improving the quality of jobs and of businesses.
                          A suite of labour market indicators are used to inform esp strategy development
                           and implementation.
                          A framework is being developed to help measure added value, which esp will
                           happily share with GNSB.
                          Progress to date has mainly hinged around regional programmes rather than at a
                           sub-regional level and now it also aligns with Business Link and the Train To Gain
                           offer.
                          The new esp Plan is the result of a review process over that past year – it provides
                           a clear steer on the challenges faced; the priorities agreed; and the new delivery
                           structures which comprise time-bound “Task and Finish” groups.
                          Better vertical integration is required to help regional and local bodies work more
                           effectively together.

                    Discussion, key points:

                          NJ thought there was lot of issues contained within and resulting from the esp plan
                           that merits further Board discussion and suggested time should be dedicated to a
                           follow up discussion at a future Board meeting.
                          BH asked that the implications of esp’s plan for GNSB should be pinned down
                           more clearly so the Board can identify and discuss what it means for the Board.
                          GH highlighted his view that whilst worklessness and the City Strategy are very
                           important, the Board needs to devote more time to higher level skills.


                     Actions:
                     1: Helen Bell to provide a short “implications of esp for GNSB” paper that could
                     be used as the basis of further discussion.

4. Strategic Plan   Adam Jeffrey reported that a meeting of 4 Board Members (DK, TG, DH and NJ) had
                    taken place on 25th April to discuss and develop an “Action Plan” to form the core working
                    document component of the wider GNSB Strategic Plan.

                    AJ briefly outlined the key elements of this Action Plan (Section 5 of the revised Strategic
                    Plan) and that under 3 broad headings: Demand / Supply / Matching Demand and Supply,
                    a number of actions had been proposed around activities where GNSB can “make a
                    difference” and offer recall added value.

                    There was little time available at the meeting for debate but BH mentioned it would be
                    helpful to be able to monitor GNSB’s work to see what evidence there is to show that what
                    the Board does, makes an impact and that the partners test and challenged each other
                    more rigorously.

                    The Board endorsed the Plan.
 Agenda Item                                     Discussion / Action

A.O.B.         1. Ann Jones mentioned a C2E (Committed To Employment) event she attended on 9 th
               May and believed there was merit in bringing this to the Board’s attention in terms of the
               ideas put forward by C2E and hw this could elate to partners’ work. The City Strategy is
               the subject of an Equality Impact Study and it was agreed this seemed the most logical
               vehicle to link to C2E.

               2. The Core Cities conference will take place in Nottingham on 27th to 28th June and BH
               will issue, electronically, details to Board Members.


                                     Date of Next Meeting: Thursday 12th July,
                                             Nottinghamshire County,
                                          The Rufford Suite, County Hall

								
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