The 'Social Contract' is a new £1.7million programme of activity, led by OxLEP Skills, set to make a significant and positive impact on Oxfordshire's skills ambitions and will formally-begin during the summer of 2022.
The programme will follow in the footsteps of OxLEP Skills' historic commitment to supporting businesses in Oxfordshire to develop their own pipeline of talent – this includes the ambition to work with Oxfordshire-based companies to unlock and enable their Apprenticeship Levy, utilising it to develop elite and stand-out apprenticeship programmes.
There are around 275 businesses in Oxfordshire that pay an Apprenticeship Levy, but are currently not utilising it.
By retaining levy payments locally, it will support vital skills growth across Oxfordshire and help employers develop talent pipelines and retain key skills within the county.
The programme's Apprenticeship Advisors can offer free support and guidance regarding the Social Contract and are pleased to work with Oxfordshire-based businesses in a variety of ways.
This includes support with:
Helping businesses to unlock their Apprenticeship Levy
Enabling businesses to pledge unused Levy to SMEs across Oxfordshire
Understanding local labour market information, skill shortages and talent pipelines
Information on apprenticeship programmes
The programme can also support businesses by signposting them to:
Relevant apprenticeship grants
Suitable training providers
Other opportunities across OxLEP's extensive business support programme
The full programme of support through the Social Contract will be announced soon. However, some further areas of support are set to include:
Supporting young people who have experienced education disturbance and/or unemployment as a result of the pandemic
Improving social mobility for minority ethnic communities in Oxfordshire
Helping to create better opportunities for those furthest from the labour market. This includes; clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people and/or those affected by the digital divide, food poverty or other socio-economic disparity or deprivation
Those over the age of 50 in Oxfordshire, affected by labour market challenges or looking to begin a new career path in another sector
In the meantime, we would encourage all businesses interested in our Social Contract programme to register their interest with OxLEP Skills via the below programme form.
We have a deep understanding of Oxfordshire businesses and their skills requirements. We do this by:
Working with Oxfordshire businesses to identify skills gaps in their respective companies:
Bringing business and education much closer together for the benefit of young people and business alike:
Playing our part in ensuring Oxfordshire businesses continue to attract the right talent: