Investing £4.5m into a new skills innovation fund will be discussed by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) when it meets at City Hall in Bristol on Friday 28 September, at 10am.
The fund would support a further bid for £4m from the European Social Fund to create an overall £8.5m pot, for activities to link small and medium-sized businesses with the right talent, creating new employment opportunities for residents of the West of England.
The Combined Authority is chaired by the Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, and is made up of the leaders and Mayor from its three member councils – Bath & North East Somerset (Leader, Cllr Tim Warren), Bristol City Council (Mayor Marvin Rees) and South Gloucestershire Council (Leader, Cllr Toby Savage). The Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Professor Steve West, also attends committee meetings.
Proposals to create three new Talent Institutes across the region will also be discussed; these would seek to build on activities already underway, involving organisations delivering in this area. The aim is to create nationally-recognised centres of excellence to drive business innovation and employment support. The committee will be asked to allocate £100K for a feasibility study to progress the idea of Talent Institutes.
Members will also discuss allocating £100,000 for regional tourism promotion activity to support the visitor economy, which makes a key financial contribution to the West of England.
There will also be an update on the business plan, including early successes from the £4m Future Bright project and the launch of a new Careers Hub, which will work with schools and colleges to improve career opportunities and work experiences for young people. The committee will also discuss WECA’s participation in a new regional transport grouping, a shadow sub national transport body.
The meeting will be filmed and an archive recording will be made available at www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk. Meeting papers can also be found on the website.