17th Nov 2023
This term Abingdon & Witney College hosted the OxLEP Community Employment Plan (CEP) event at the Net Zero Skills Hub on the Abingdon Campus. The event brought together local stakeholders and developers working in Oxfordshire to share ideas and best practices to engage with the CEP. OxLEP has championed the use of Community Employment Plans in development since 2016.
Community Employment Plans were implemented by Oxfordshire County Council to create opportunities for the local population in large commercial or residential developments; including work experience, school engagement, apprenticeships, and job opportunities. CEPs also encourage developers to consider where they can use local supply chains, labour, and companies, with the intention for the county to benefit from the process of creating the development, as well as the development itself once complete.
The event created the opportunity for attendees to explore four themes of the CEP: ‘Local Labour, Supply Chain and Procurement’, ‘Apprenticeships and Training Opportunities’, ‘Engaging with Education’, and ‘Inclusive Economic Growth’. Cat Armstrong and Sally Andreou - Community Employment Plan Advisor and Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP Skills - led several informing panel talks. They were joined on the discussion panels by representatives from a broad range of developers and stakeholders, including Abingdon & Witney College, Willmott Dixon, Propellor Trust, Morgan Sindall, and ASC Construction Group.
Local school Career Leads were invited into the College for the afternoon session on Engaging with Education, finishing with a tour around the campus’ new Green Construction Skills Centre.
“Community Employment Plans assist developers, contractors and major employers in Oxfordshire to develop a local workforce that is critical to meet business and industry needs in the region. It was fantastic to see representatives from these and other organisations, such as local authorities, charities, education and training providers and Department for Work and Pensions, coming together to discuss how Community Employment Plans can deliver real social value through training and employment initiatives for local people, with a particular focus this time on supporting those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - we look forward to continuing our support to all parties to maximise the outcomes from these plans.” - Cat Armstrong, Community Employment Plan Adviser at OxLEP Skills.