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Skills Strategy

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4. Further specific priorities

These further specific priorities have been identified for Exeter:

Talent retention and attraction

It is important that Exeter and the travel to work area attracts and retains talent, particularly younger people, to ensure there is a diverse and skilled labour market available to support the local economy.
This requires both jobs and training opportunities, but also appropriate housing, amenities, and transport. Exeter City Council will work alongside partners at the university and training providers, as well as the business community, to ensure that all those leaving education are aware of the employment opportunities in the city. An employer forum will be convened, drawing on existing networks, to support with careers information, advice and guidance for young people. Other alternative initiatives, such as the university’s scheme to help graduates to start their own businesses locally, will continue to be supported.

Alignment of training provision and future skills needs

Skills and training providers in Exeter will build on their existing business relationships to work closely together when designing provision to match this with the local economic need. This will help to safeguard the skills base against future changes, including digitalisation and green skills linked to net zero, while ensuring there is adequate provision to meet latest demands and market shifts. Exeter City Council will also look to encourage skills and training that can facilitate transitions between careers and continue to develop Exeter Works as a means to provide employability support.

Clear map of skills provision available

Exeter needs to ensure that there is an awareness of courses available among not just the employers but individuals looking to upskill. Understanding whether a course is appropriate for the skill needs of an organisation or individual (aligned to their career, prospects and interest) is vital to ensuring that provision is suited to the market opportunities. Linked to strong careers information, advice and guidance Exeter City Council will therefore work with partners to develop a road map of career pathways and training provision available.

Support those furthest from the labour market

Securing a good job is a key part to an individual’s wellbeing and continued and enhanced support to those from disadvantaged and hard to reach groups to gain basic qualifications and soft skills, as well as overcoming wider barriers to employment is essential, especially where there are labour market shortages. Exeter City Council will support the work of partners in delivering bespoke support as well as encouraging greater use of community training, bootcamp courses and evening learning, supporting inclusion.

Raising aspirations

Exeter needs to celebrate the innovative organisations and exciting opportunities across the city and how young people can be a part of the continued success. More engagement with employers will be undertaken in school settings through the Careers Hub to inspire young people to seek ambitious futures, while also viewing self-employment and entrepreneurship as an opportunity.


Will continue to be encouraged at all levels and promoted as a career pathway option with support available to local businesses to overcome their knowledge barriers to take on apprentices. Exeter City Council will explore securing funding to develop a programme to facilitate workplace-based training among adults, as well as continuing to support traineeships by local businesses. Further, the Council will continue to support the development and expansion of degree apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships to support career progression.