In March 2020, West Yorkshire agreed to an ambitious devolution deal with the Government, which will see our region have a directly-elected mayor from May 2021.
The agreement, which is the biggest ever of its kind, unlocks more than £1.8 billion in investment to drive up living standards through better transport, improved skills and stronger businesses while tackling the climate emergency. This means that West Yorkshire will have control of the £63m annual Adult Education Budget (AEB) for the area enabling us to align spending on skills more closely with the opportunities and needs in the local economy.
The main purpose of the AEB is to provide adults with the skills needed for entering and sustaining employment, an apprenticeship, a traineeship, or other further learning. The funding pays specifically for learning programmes (predominantly qualifications) and provides an element of learner support funding for those with learning difficulties and disabilities.
The AEB Strategy has been developed in order to ensure that we are ready to deliver the Adult Education Budget by 1 August 2021. The plan builds on our existing strategies and the needs of our area, providing a clear foundation upon which we can build the skills of people and businesses within West Yorkshire. The timescales set out by the Government mean that it is necessary to develop the plan prior to the election of the West Yorkshire Mayor.
Interested in Partnering with Pathway Group?
Pathway Group is an AEB lead provider for the Greater London Authority, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the West Midlands Combined Authority and is now seeking to apply to West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to deliver AEB.
As an established skills provider, we have been working in the WYCA region in the last 7 years predominantly in the Bradford Region. We are keen to explore potential subcontracting opportunities with established organisations who have a demonstrable track record delivering skills to meet the priority sectors across all parts of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).
West Yorkshire has a large and diverse economy. However, it faces challenges of low productivity and pay, linked to a range of issues, including a deficit of skills and innovation.
The Covid-19 crisis has caused major disruption to the local labour market and the effects could prove to be long lasting, with implications for the role of Adult Education Budget.
WYCA has defined the following priorities:
Support the unemployed to gain and sustain employment
Increase the supply of skills to support key sectors in West Yorkshire
Make learning more inclusive to support disadvantaged residents
Improve West Yorkshire’s resilience by identifying and delivering the skills needed for its residence
Provide progression opportunities for those on low wages and with insecure work