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Ambition 4 Building skills that help people get good jobs

Nottinghamshire needs a skilled workforce that can compete on a local and global stage, and we want our residents to have access to good-quality, rewarding, local jobs.

We also want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential, whatever their age, ability or background. So, as well as children in early years settings, and young people in schools and colleges, we’ll support adult learning too.

Education is key in finding work, so we begin with schools. While 86% of Nottinghamshire children attend ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ schools, we know we can do more. We want every child in the County to attend a school with this rating – whether the setting is an academy or Council-owned. With supportive, nurturing and enjoyable places to learn, we know our children will flourish. But, we also face the challenge of ensuring there are enough places in good schools for children to attend, and for parents to have a say in where they send their child.

Whatever stage people are in their education, we’ll partner with schools, colleges, universities and training providers to ensure that the skills being taught match the needs of local businesses and new investors, while supporting the kinds of work people want to do. In other words, we’ll forge a clear pathway from training to good employment for everyone in Nottinghamshire. As one of the largest employers in the County, we can shape much of this through our own services and programmes, whether through work placements, apprenticeships or training opportunities. And, as with many of our ambitions, we’ll always focus our efforts where the need is greatest.

The Big Notts Survey

  • Over 1 in 4 people (28%) named better opportunities for education and training as one of the top things that would improve life in Nottinghamshire, after more affordable housing.
  • Just over 1 in 5 people (22%) said improved schools were a top priority for Nottinghamshire, with this being the top priority for young people (46%).
  • Just under half of young people (47%) named career aspirations as their biggest ambition for themselves over the next 10 years – by far their top priority.

Over the next four years we will:

We’ll carry on supporting – and challenging – the schools we maintain, especially those that aren’t yet judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. We’ll also work with Multi-Academy Trusts, which aren’t Council-owned, to share good practices. These measures will help every young person in our communities have access to the best learning environments and give them a solid start in life.

Working alongside the Government and developers, we’ll address the growing demand for secondary school places in Gedling, Rushcliffe and Worksop and primary school places in East Leake, Bingham, Carlton, Colwick and Edwinstowe. We’ll also make sure places are being provided alongside new housing developments.

We’ll help our mainstream schools boost the number of places for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and provide a wider range of specialist education that meets children’s needs. We’ll ensure their education prepares them for adulthood, and will focus on building their skills, employability, and aspirations.                                                                           

We’ll work with partners to ensure the children and young people in our care are given the support they need to reach their potential and prepare for adulthood. This means advocating for extra educational support where needed, helping young people to access high quality careers advice, and connecting them with work experience opportunities.

We’ll carry on advocating to the Government for ongoing and increased funding for Nottinghamshire’s schools and pupils with SEND. This will ensure all our children and young people have access to the highest quality education for a fair start in life.

We’ll keep all Council-maintained school buildings and facilities in a good state of repair, and will expand any that need to accommodate extra pupils.

We’ll offer a wide adult learning curriculum through Inspire Learning and deliver a young people’s study programme for those aged 16-18. These steps will help adults and young people develop skills for life and provide family learning opportunities.

We’ll make it easier for people to access the training and support needed for better, more rewarding jobs – whether children, young people, or those progressing in their careers. We’ll also work with Nottinghamshire employers to help them land and keep the right talent, and increase the number of apprenticeships on offer across the County. Whether people are just starting out or facing employment barriers, we’ll give them the skills and motivation they need for a fulfilling career.

We’ll provide employment support services to help those with social care needs to access training, find jobs and stay in employment, opening up opportunities for the future.

We’ll develop our libraries into community, cultural and learning hubs through providing the events, courses and activities needed to bring people together and develop important skills. This will benefit all our residents, but especially young children, giving them a strong foundation in language, reading and motor skills.

As one of the largest employers in Nottinghamshire, we’re working to:

  • open up training and development opportunities in our services and programmes, like work experience placements and apprenticeships
  • connect with local further education providers to offer internships
  • continue our highly successful Graduate Development Programme.

Success means:

  • Nottinghamshire schools are classified as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted
  • Fewer young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • People leave education with better qualifications and skills
  • Educational outcomes for vulnerable children improve
  • Vulnerable children are less likely to miss education
  • More people are in higher paid and skilled jobs
  • Children and young people are provided with sufficient early years provision and school places in their local communities
  • There are sufficient high-quality childcare places in the early years sector.

In 2023-24, to achieve this, we will deliver the following actions:

Complete and publish an Annual Childcare Sufficiency Assessment to monitor the availability of childcare across the county, so that children can access early education to support their development and preparation for school, and to ensure there is sufficient childcare for working parents.

Deliver a new Special School in Mansfield to meet the needs of pupils with Autistic Spectrum Condition and Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs. We will also work with multi-academy trusts and existing alternative provision providers, to expand the offer of alternative education across the County and we will work with school partners to set up four new enhanced provision units in mainstream schools.

Develop and expand primary and secondary schools in the County to help ensure that there are sufficient mainstream school places for our young people. This will include:

  • Developing a new primary school in Edwinstowe, to open by September 2025 at the latest, with high environmental standards
  • Completing a 300-place expansion of Portland Academy, by September 2024
  • Completing the permanent build of Millside primary school at East Leake for September 2023 opening
  • Completing the expansion of Carlton le Willows for September 2023
  • Progressing the expansion of Rushcliffe Spencer Academy, West Bridgford and South Wolds in Keyworth.

Work across all of the Council’s services to develop an integrated strategy and plan to ensure people are able to access opportunities to learn and develop the skills they need to realise their ambitions and lead a productive life, contributing to the County’s economic prosperity. This strategy will also focus on how we work together to support for the most vulnerable in our communities to access education, training and employment opportunities.

Identify and facilitate pathways from training into employment, including identifying future skills strategies. These pathways will make clear how to best transition from education into work, and how to progress when in work.

Lead by example by increasing the number of employment and training opportunities for children and adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) within the local authority, and facilitate similar opportunities with local businesses. We will also continue our local graduate development programme to help nurture talented graduates into the managers and leaders of tomorrow.

Work with our partners to review and improve local library services and facilities. This will include the continued development of our libraries as community and learning hubs, enabling people to access adult learning opportunities, close to their home.

To find out more about what we’ve got planned for the current year, you can read our full Annual Delivery Plan 2023-2024 [PDF].

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