Following the devolution of the AEB to Combined Authorities, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s CA has put in place plans to focus more of the budget on the development of skills of which there is currently a shortage. Peterborough and Fenland, where qualifications are scarce, will be specifically targeted, as will other locations that fall short of the desired qualification and secure employment figures.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CA will focus the majority of the budget spend on enlisting independent training providers to deliver vocational courses and skills building sessions to those from the most deprived backgrounds. Mayor James Palmer has expressed a desire to use the budget to champion inclusion and ensure that the thriving local economy can be something enjoyed by everyone in the community.
Courses more traditionally associated with adult education, such as arts, crafts and leisure will still be provided, but newly created courses will focus on the skills gap in specific regions and have input from local businesses that are finding it challenging to fill open vacancies. Fenland will benefit from training in digital skills, business administration, transport and health and social care, as well as maths and English courses. It is hoped that this approach will not only enable learners to find work and boost the economy, but that the resulting drive of productivity will facilitate the establishment of more businesses, further driving economic growth.