Skills

Our ambition: to put employers at the heart of inspiring and informing all our residents about career and progression opportunities and making the curriculum fit for purpose.

Cheshire and Warrington is a highly successful economy. Our economic output is greater than that of the core cities. We have world leading businesses, in world leading sectors such as AstraZenica, Bentley Motors, Unilever and Jungheinrich. However, challenges lie ahead. If we are to maintain productivity we need to replace our ageing highly skilled workforce (230,000 jobs by 2025) and address the deficit of up to 60,000 graduates and the challenge of 25% of workers earning below the living wage and many working on unstable low hours contracts. We are losing 5,000 graduates each year and we have a clear mis-match between the skills employers need and the skills individuals choose to acquire. This is because not enough people get the information they need to make informed decisions about the subjects to study and the careers to follow. This is particularly true for STEM and Digital skills.

This is the Skills and Education Plan that has been developed by the LEP’s Employers’ Skills and Education Board in consultation with local partners. The Skills and Education Plan sets out plans for working with businesses and skills and learning providers to ensure that our businesses have the skills they need to grow and individuals have the skills they need to progress. The Plan is a working document. It builds on the good practice that is already happening in Cheshire and Warrington but also proposes a more innovative approach that puts employers at the heart of the plan.

Much work has been undertaken with employers to address our skills, learning and education challenges and to integrate these outcomes with the other enablers of inclusive growth.

Why are skills and education important to Cheshire and Warrington?

Skills, learning and education are key drivers of the economy. They enable businesses to grow and innovate and individuals to get jobs and progress. A strong and resilient talent pool is essential to the successful delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) in Cheshire and Warrington. It will help to deliver inclusive growth.

In Cheshire and Warrington, a highly skill resilient workforce will:

  • Help to retain and grow the outstanding businesses that we already have
  • Improve productivity
  • Attract new investors
  • Attract more people and businesses into the area
  • Enable our residents to find good quality jobs and progress
  • Ensure we will remain competitive in new global markets

There are a number of initiatives designed to help employers and employees to focus on skills and training.

The Digital Skills Partnership

The Digital Skills Partnership is a group of employers and other organisation who recognise the growing importance of digital skills to all the businesses and residents of Cheshire and Warrington.

The Digital Skills Partnership will ensure that we focus on digital skills as we deliver the two priorities of our skills and education action plan:

  • Businesses being at the heart of inspiring and informing young people about new technologies and career opportunities so they make informed decisions about the training and education that they choose; and
  • Businesses working together with training providers to improve the quality of training available to employees and individual learners who want to acquire the digital skills they need for work or to function in an increasingly digital age.

Find out more about the Digital Skills Partnership here. 

The Pledge Partnership

The Pledge Partnership puts employers at the heart of inspiring, informing and communicating with the next generation of employees in Cheshire and Warrington.

The Pledge Partnership enables businesses to work together with educators to provide every young person living, studying and/or working in Cheshire and Warrington with everything they need to succeed in the world of work. With the opportunity to develop employability-related skills and personal qualities whilst in education, there is a choice of employment, training or further education when they leave school. Find out more about the Pledge Partnership here.

Fuller Working Lives

Skills, productivity and the ageing workforce – what employers need to know.

A practical guide to becoming an age-inclusive employer and harnessing the skills and experience of older workers

How does the ageing workforce affect you?

As the workforce ages, employers are increasingly looking to retain the valuable skills of their older workers. With many people leaving the workforce before they reach State Pension age, it’s important for employers to offer opportunities, such as retraining and flexible working, to keep them.

Fewer younger people entering the workforce and training, means an increasing reliance on retaining and recruitment of older people.

Once in work, older workers may require retraining to ensure their skills are up to date and to help them adapt to any changes in the work environment.

Employers recognised for best practice understand the business case for a mixed-age workforce. They know the age of their workforce, talk to their workers to identify issues and introduce interventions to help retain, retrain and recruit older workers. Find out more about Fuller Working Lives here.