Post-16 Employment and Skills in Birmingham – Launch Event

June 29, 2024

On 21st June 2024, I had the pleasure to participate in Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) launch of the Post-16 Employment and Skills in Birmingham Dashboard.

The launch is a significant milestone for the city and its education and training providers, employers and other stakeholders who play a crucial role in supporting and employing young people. The dashboard came about after a discussion between Richard Brooks (Director of Strategy, Equality and Partnerships at BCC) and I, and led to a wider conversation about how this dashboard could genuinely support Post-16 providers in understanding and making decisions that develop and support young people on to their next steps.  Richard kindly took this task on, consulting with colleagues on different aspects of the dashboard.  Moving forward, the dashboard will become critical to the work of the Post-16 Executive Board which reports into BCC, but its application will be of use beyond this group.

The purpose of the launch was an opportunity to look at what the dashboard tells us and to consider through practical application and group discussion, the potential impact on policy. We were lucky to have in attendance, the Deputy Leader, Councillor Sharon Thompson and Deputy Mayor for the West Midlands, a mix of education providers, career advisors, employers, national and regional government/agencies and, of course, young people.

The group discussions explored some of the policy challenges relating to post-16 employment and skills, considering the root causes, consequences, and solutions. Feedback from some of the conversations included:

 * How do we balance the different needs of young people, employers, and providers.

 * There is a disconnect between education and the modern-day skills required for employment. For example, we need to be future facing and train young people in digital skills needed for entering the workplace.

 * Recruiters should consider alternatives to traditional recruitment methods (i.e. job descriptions and experience level) to give young people more of a chance. 

 * Raising awareness of skills required for employment and opportunities available. For example, more awareness around apprenticeships and T-Levels.

 * Apprenticeships appear to have shifted away from trades, i.e. new job opportunities, to upskilling existing staff.

 * Standardising the service offer across all apprenticeship providers.

 * Adopt a social responsibility approach: love your city and the people and help them progress.



The group discussions that took place will help shape the work of the Post-16 Executive Board.  For example, the importance of careers advice, the transition between pre- and post-16, and educational providers collaborating to ensure a comprehensive offer and signposting to further and higher education and employment for young people. 


A great feature of the City Observatory and this Post-16 Employment and Skills dashboard is that it is free for anyone to use. Indeed, at BMet the dashboard will be embedded into our course and support services to plan for young people, communities and employers in Birmingham.


Pat Carvalho, Principal and CEO, Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet)