A new skills service will be set up in Cambridgeshire to bring employers, schools and colleges together as well as help give students the right tools to get better jobs

The proposals are part of the Greater Cambridge City Deal but will benefit youngsters across the whole of Cambridgeshire, helping boost their future prospects and the local economy.

Members of the Greater Cambridge City Deal Executive Board agreed with the recommendations of a working group that a special team and service be set up to improve the employability of students in the area. This will be particularly in the local high-tech economy.

The recommendations were debated at the meeting of the Board today, Thursday, 18 June.

The proposed City Deal Skills Service would improve skills and help students in Greater Cambridge area schools and colleges through active engagement with employers. This would link with work already going on in the rest of Cambridgeshire as well as working with the Greater Cambridge Peterborough Enterprise Partnership.

The recommendations that will be heard by the Board include the service:

"¢ facilitating connections between schools and employers in order to guide students from education into working life;
"¢ working with employers to go into schools and explain the wide range of job opportunities in this area, particularly in the high-tech sectors of the local economy
"¢ encouraging much greater take up of science, maths and technology courses in schools, qualifications which are desperately needed by local businesses
"¢ provide practical help to youngsters such as CV writing and interview practice
"¢ ensure colleges and training providers make the right courses available to youngsters to fit the needs of employers;
"¢ helping young people think more strategically about their futures; and providing activity programmes that offer students opportunities to improve their employability and careers awareness.

Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Steve Count, who sits on the City Deal Board, said: "The Skills Service will enable schools and employers to find each other in a way that is currently hit and miss and where contacts are unevenly distributed. This new service is thanks to the valuable contribution of the Assembly subgroup and is a great opportunity to build on existing school, college and business partnerships.

For schools, it provides the chance to draw on new and additional resource that will inspire, inform and motivate students. While on the other hand it enables businesses to invest in the future workforce, future suppliers or future customers, and to contribute to community well-being. The benefits from participating are shared by schools and employers as well as the students who will move forward with the right skills and training."

The Greater Cambridge City Deal Partnership includes Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council as well as the Greater Cambridge Peterborough Enterprise Partnership and Cambridge University. The partners are working closely together to bring forward projects that improve the economic success of the area.

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