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Skills Strategy

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3. Overarching priorities

In response to the opportunities and challenges outlined, a series of priorities have been identified for employment and skills over the next three years.

Our overarching priorities are:


It is essential that Exeter looks to address the skills gaps to ensure that everyone in the city is able to benefit from the local economic opportunities. Skills and employment are an enabler for many other social and economic factors from mobility to wellbeing, employability to progression. Accessing those who are hard to reach or in deprived wards in the city, will be a cross cutting ambition for any interventions and will require coordinating local assets to address multiple life challenges across ages, raising attainment in schools, and bridging the gap between education and work.


Skills are fundamental to the productivity of an economy and improving productivity is a core part of the national and regional economic strategies. Developing the skills base of the labour market in Exeter,
particularly those with low or no skills and sectors that are either more labour intensive or suffer from low productivity, will help respond to this challenge. Getting the right skills for the right people to get into the right jobs is important if productivity is going to be improved and lead to benefits in earnings and standard of living.

Digital Skills

From higher level digital skills to support major organisations like the Met Office to basic digital skills, there is a consistent demand from businesses and stakeholders for improvements in the digital capability of the labour market. Working in partnership with employers and training providers, Exeter City Council will identify what the full range of digital skills needs that are required both now and in the future are, and whether suitable courses are available to meet that need, and how any gaps will be filled.

Life Skills

The right life skills can unlock employment opportunities and contribute to progression and capacity to learn. Though developing soft skills is often experiential, partners in Exeter such as the National Careers Service and Careers Hub are providing valuable advice and support to individuals to help them with core skills needed to get a job. Where learners are engaged with training, life skill development should be consciously included within modules to help improve the learner.