Agenda and minutes

Joint Meeting of Business, Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Board (3) and Finance and Corporate Services Scrutiny Board (1) - Wednesday, 24th March, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held remotely. The meeting can be viewed live by pasting this link into your browser: -

Note: Meeting Held Remotely 

No. Item


Election of Chair

To elect a Chair for the meeting.


A proposal was received from Councillor R Lancaster that Councillor C Miks be elected as Chair of the Joint meeting. The proposal was seconded by Councillor R Singh.


RESOLVED that Councillor Miks be appointed as Chair of the Joint meeting of Business, Economy and Enterprise (3) and Finance and Corporate Resources Scrutiny Board (1).


Declarations of Interest


There were no disclosable pecuniary interests.


Citywide and Council Apprenticeship Update pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Briefing Note of the Director of Education and Skills and the Director of Human Resources

Additional documents:


The Joint Meeting of Business, Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Board (3) and Finance and Corporate Services Scrutiny Board (1) received a briefing note of the Director of Education and Skills and the Director of Human Resources that provided an update on Citywide and Council Apprenticeships. A report that had been prepared in partnership between the City Council’s Employment and Skills Service and the Organisational Development Team was attached as an Appendix to the briefing note. Further Appendices provided the Council’s Apprenticeship Strategy; Data on Trends, Age, Gender, Equalities and WMCA Levy Transfer; and Case Studies.


Apprenticeships combined hands-on work with the opportunity to train and obtain qualifications: ‘Earning whilst you learn, with 20% of an apprentice’s paid working time set aside for classroom based and/or online learning. 700 apprenticeship standards were available with traditional and employed apprenticeships offered. Overall, since 2016/17 apprenticeship starts for England had fallen 34% with higher-level apprenticeships increasing by 125% since 2016/17. Covid-19 had impacted on apprenticeship starts for all levels in 2019/20 with varying impacts across age, gender and sector. Coventry followed a similar trend to England but with 200% growth of higher-level apprenticeships.


There had been a series of apprenticeship regulatory reforms since 2016/17 that had impacted on apprenticeship delivery, including a minimum of 20% off the Job Training, a change from Apprenticeship Standards to Frameworks, and increased course costs. In addition, in April 2017 an Apprenticeship Levy was introduced for all employers paying a wage bill of more than £3 million per year (approx. 3% of UK businesses), requiring them to pay 0.5% of their payroll each month as a levy tax. The levy had resulted in increased numbers of apprentices with large employers and an increase in higher-level apprenticeships.


Statistically, compared to national figures, Coventry had a higher proportion of female apprentices, in particular, in intermediate and higher-level apprenticeships and had slightly lower levels of 19-24-year-old learners. National data suggested apprenticeships were broadly representative of population in ethnicity.


Traineeships had helped bridge the gap for lower level learners including those with learning difficulties/disabilities into apprenticeships with limited success. Numbers of traineeships were down nationally partly due to the pandemic and also the Government adding in grants of £2000 per trainee for businesses who supported Traineeships for Academic Year 2020/21 and a further increase in this grant to £3000 per trainee, announced in the 3rd March 2021 Spring Budget.


Supported Internships could be a good alternative to Apprenticeships for those with learning disabilities, with learners supported through skilled Job Coaches for their work experience placements. The City Council’s Employment and Skills Service had been successfully running Supported Internships in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust for the last 5 years and this had recently expanded to include Warwick University, with further plans for the Council itself to act as a host employer.


The Apprenticeship and Early Careers Team within the Council’s Organisational Development Section were responsible for managing the Council’s Apprenticeship Programme and delivering the actions set out in the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Any other items of public business which the Chair decides to take as matters of urgency because of the special circumstances involved


There were no other items of public business.