Skills and Labour Force

The second of the four key objectives outlined on the BIS is to support businesses struggling with attracting and retaining skilled staff, particularly young people and graduates. Vale4Business is heavily involved in facilitating ways to address skills gap in key sectors including building links between educational institutions and employers, holding careers fairs, giving talks to students and funding pop up business schools. You can read more here.

If you have been affected by issues surrounding skills and labour force and need advice, please contact V4B.

V4B Skills Forum 2017

The inaugural V4B business forum took place on October 10 at Steventon House Hotel. Vale4Business Ambassadors were joined by over 35 attendees for a time to network and focus on skills.

Speakers Michelle Smith from Education Business Partnership (EBP), Ali Adams of UTC Oxfordshire and Kate Benefer of Royds Withy King presented three practical approaches to addressing skill and workforce issues, and the cost to businesses. The presentations from EBP and UTC Oxfordshire are now available to download via the below links:

UTC Presentation for V4B Skills Forum

EBP Presentation for V4B Skills Forum

The presentations were followed by a Q&A session that covered subjects ranging from the skills gaps, effective use of the apprenticeship levy and employment opportunities for people facing severe disadvantages.  With the variety of organisations in the room ranging from social enterprises, to educational providers, recruitment specialists and more, a number of interesting views and experiences were raised with potential action points and solutions put forward for further discussion.

Have a concern or an opportunity related to skills or labour force in Vale of White Horse? Why not email us at

Skills and Labour at Vale of White Horse District Council

Work Experience

Work experience placements offer a long term solution to addressing the skills gap and engaging employers with young people. If you’re an employer thinking about offering work experience, read the OxLEP guide here.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have provided a large number of work experience placements for students since January 2017 working in various teams including: Leisure, Policy and Partnerships, Economic Development, Environmental Health and Protection, Licensing (Capita), Housing Development, Legal, The Beacon and Cornerstone Arts Centre:

  • 36 students
  • two young people through Job Centre Plus
  • one undergraduate on a long term paid placement
  • 61 per cent female and 31 per cent male
  • 100 per cent of students enjoyed their placement and would recommend it

Find out more about their experiences at the councils by viewing the below newsletter:

Work Experience Newsletter 2017

To find out more about work experience opportunities at South and Vale District Councils, please email young people’s co-ordinator:

Oxford Advanced Skills

The Oxford Advanced Skills training centre enables Oxfordshire businesses to offer young people hi-tech and engineering apprenticeships of the highest quality.

It offers unique benefits for employers, apprentices and the local economy in one of the most thriving areas for science and technology in the UK.

Located at Culham Science Centre, the home of the UK’s fusion energy research programme, Oxford Advanced Skills is a partnership between the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Science & Technology Facilities Council. The centre is managed by leading apprentice training provider JTL, which works with 6,000 learners and 3,500 employers across England and Wales.

Oxford Advanced Skills is now open and took its first intake of apprentices in September 2016. Eventually the centre will train 125 young people per year in a purpose-built training facility at Culham.


Does your organisation offer solutions to the skills gap? Get in touch: