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Can Apprenticeships save the city? The civic struggle to achieve social and economic goals Alison Fuller, Sadaf Rizvi and Lorna Unwin LLAKES Conference,

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Presentation on theme: "Can Apprenticeships save the city? The civic struggle to achieve social and economic goals Alison Fuller, Sadaf Rizvi and Lorna Unwin LLAKES Conference,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Can Apprenticeships save the city? The civic struggle to achieve social and economic goals Alison Fuller, Sadaf Rizvi and Lorna Unwin LLAKES Conference, Senate House, University of London, 18-19 October 2012

2 City regeneration – multiple aims From the 1990s onwards, evolved to encompass three agendas (Hall 2002): urban renaissance (physical and environmental) social inclusion (improvement of the social conditions of deprived neighbourhoods) economic competitiveness (productivity and innovation) Thus, regeneration requires complex co-ordination due to the involvement of multiple ‘stakeholders’ 2

3 Reconciling goals through Education and Training Longstanding tension between pursuit of diverse goals at different geographical scales – including level of the city Apprenticeship increasingly being used as an instrument of policy to pursue multiple agendas Development of partnership-based responses at local level Two cases of city-based innovative partnership approaches to using apprenticeship

4 Partnership Approaches at city level Partnership-based approaches increasingly used as instrument of national, regional and local labour market policies and for urban regeneration To address social exclusion, unemployment and competitiveness To ‘deliver’ local labour market strategies, to improve community social, economic and environmental ‘wellbeing’ To build workforces more representative of the local community

5 Apprenticeship as an evolving model of learning and vehicle for change Two cases: Public Sector employer-led partnership – improving life chances for disadvantaged young people, equity and diversity in workforce, community well-being (city on English South coast) Urban regeneration – vehicle for employer buy-in and social cohesion (city in North West of England)

6 Our Research Interviews with key informants representing all parts of partnerships (including city council, Job CentrePlus, employers, funding agencies, education and training providers) Interviews and focus groups with apprentices, in one case at start, during and after completion of their programme Interviews with workplace managers and supervisors

7 Role of Education and Training in the Regeneration of Urban Landscapes Regeneration begins as attempt to ameliorate effects of deindustrialisation – then the 3 agendas emerge: Urban renaissance – physical & environmental Social inclusion – deprived neighbourhoods Economic competitiveness – productivity, innovation, national goals All involve education and training

8 Cleaning Up ‘Alcohol Alley’ “There was a massive issue about a blight in the area, that’s why these housing sites ended up being cleared, and I don’t think I could appreciate fully how bad it was, because when I arrived - I worked here in 2006 - some of the terraced houses were still here but they were getting fire bombed and damaged and everything, and it was horrific apparently. For people living in those communities at the time, they obviously had to move on because they (houses) were getting sold on, people were leaving the area because they didn’t have jobs, (houses) getting bought by private landlords or other interested parties and then sold on, and then just not being looked after. And that saw the decline in terms of those key communities.” (Regeneration Officer)

9 Using Planning Powers to Secure Apprenticeships Local authorities 2 key ‘weapons’ in battle to maintain influence: planning and procurement Planning includes statutory power plus ‘softer’ levers (see Fuller et al, 2010, on Council provides ‘free’ land to developer to build 400 houses to be sold at relatively low price Developer must recruit 2 construction apprentices from local NEET young people and ensure 10% of workforce on site is local



12 Apprentice as Beneficiary Robert, 18, previously unemployed for six months after college course. Connexions identified him and helped him prepare for the test and interview. Supervised by site manager and subcontractor. Attends college once a week -visited in workplace by assessor from training provider. Subcontractor carries out a three monthly review for the developer. Developer also monitors progress

13 Like I’ve got a good career behind (me), so if anything happens you’ve obviously got a career, but I thought I’d go higher like don’t just want to do joinery, I thought I’d go up, step it higher, do you know what I mean, my own business or people working for you. Its good because it’s (in the) local area and that and it just helps other people to see like you’re learning. Kids can do it, do you know what I mean, it’s not just all about on the streets and that. It shows that local lads can do stuff.

14 Apprentice Training Provider Connexions TP Construction Unit Developer Skills Funding Agency and National Apprenticeship Service Manchester City Council Developer’s Head Office The College Sub contractor

15 Who are the beneficiaries? Developer selling houses (tough in current climate) + satisfying its corporate social responsibility + ‘growing skills for the sector’ Local young men have jobs (for now) + locals have better housing City Council able to reduce its NEET list College has more students Alcohol Alley gets cleaned up

16 Theorising the value of partnerships Social capital theory helps explain the (un)likely sustainability of partnerships – the value that inheres and has grown in the social relations of the network, trust, reciprocity, mutual engagement around collective LOCAL goals The leverage of local authorities and capacity of partnerships to secure new sources of funding is critical to the sustainability and expansion of new forms of apprenticeship scheme and generation of social, economic and environmental outcomes. Importance of ‘linkages’ (Woolcock 1998)

17 An employer-led partnership An employer-led partnership in a large city in the south of England – 4 public sector employers, Chief Exec level City Council, University, NHS hospital trust, NHS primary care trust and Job Centreplus, Learning and Skills Council Our focus is on the partnership’s apprenticeship scheme

18 The apprenticeship scheme To provide FT, fixed-term 12 month employed-status apprenticeships (Level 2) in Health and Social Care, and Business Administration in the 2 participating employers Target group unemployed 18-25s eligible for support from Future Job Fund (min. wage, 25 hours a week for six months) Supported recruitment and application process including pre- employment training, assessment centre and taster days Training and qualifications associated with sector frameworks leading to possibility of permanent employment on completion

19 Purposes and concept An ‘action-oriented’ approach to address local employment, skills and social issues: “we were interested in how did you get action happening on the ground that would make a difference” (KI1) Social and economic goals: “in terms of actually the economic and social regeneration of [city], we needed …to support this as a major employer” (KI2) High involvement: “we all took a mutual responsibility for developing the employment and skills escalator right from entry level jobs and moving people who are economically inactive into work, right the way through to high level…GVA skills that would attract inward investment and wealth.” (KI3)

20 Rationale for the Apprenticeship scheme Recognition that apprenticeship as a route to skills and employment can improve life-chances and community well- being: “[employers] could work with partners to raise that [educational attainment] a part of social justice…we can improve people’s education, they [apprenticeships] would get them potentially opportunities into work, which would reduce the pressures of other things such as housing needs but also in health needs.” (KI4)

21 Recruiting ‘non-standard’ applicants Standard criteria include sector relevant work/employment experience and reasonable educational attainment “…if you look at all of our person specifications, they all ask for a logical and consistent working career history, which most of this group of people don’t have…” (KI4) Mitigating the risks (funding and workplace buy in) “…bit of resistance at middle managerial level to do this from a risk perspective. What the FJF money allowed…we can bring in additional resources to help you do this… What they got were people they weren’t expecting to get. Because on paper they may have been weak, but in reality were generally very willing to learn and keen to actually do a good job (KI5)

22 Key Features Partnership reflects public sector employers’ social and economic interests (skills, workforce diversity, responsibilities to local community, in health of local community) Importance of employer involvement in all aspects of scheme from concept to implementation; contributions in kind and direct funding of (part) salaries Working with the grain of government policies and funding opportunities – partnering with Job Centreplus and Skills Funding Agency to lever funds and resources

23 Apprenticeship as source of change Lots of small-scale initiatives + greater aspiration required Local authorities key to urban improvements – act as ‘hubs’ – planning and procurement are powerful levers Apprenticeship provides framework for development of skills + identity + maturity BUT – must be good quality – bad experiences quickly kill off initiatives

24 ‘linking social capital’ ‘Top-down resources and bottom-up capacity building need to be in a dynamic and cooperative relationship in order to assemble the range of people and materials capable of overcoming problems or to take advantage of opportunities.’ (Woolcock 1998: 185) Importance of vertical and horizontal ties 24

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