Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 8th September, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions

Contact: Charlotte Lynch  Email: charlotte.lynch@manchester.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

33.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2022.

Minutes:

The Chair requested that item 8 of the minutes of the previous meeting be amended to reflect that the committee endorsed in principle the proposal to begin enforcement of moving traffic offences.

 

Decision:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a correct record subject to the amendment outlined above.

34.

Green Skills and Jobs pdf icon PDF 626 KB

Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy.

 

This report provides an update on the opportunities and challenges faced by Manchester as the city makes the transition to a zero-carbon future.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Inclusive Economy which provided an update on the opportunities and challenges faced by

Manchester as the city makes the transition to a zero-carbon future.

 

Key points and themes of the report included:

 

·         Challenges and opportunities in the skills system and implications for the city’s clean and economic growth;

·         Green skills, low carbon employment opportunities and business growth and innovation were fundamental components of Manchester’s growth and were crucial to ensuring an inclusive economy for all residents;

·         How skills reforms would support more people into green jobs and help to grow future talent pipelines; and

·         Initiatives that the Council is involved in to enable development of skills.

 

Some of the key points and queries that arose from the Committee’s discussions included:

 

·         The impact of the cost of living crisis on the need to address the skills and jobs gap in Manchester;

·         Whether leadership and management training was offered within courses;

·         The inflexibility of qualifications and how colleges respond to need from industry;

·         Whether large-scale funding would help to facilitate retrofitting or whether demand was required first;

·         Engagement with businesses to improve carbon literacy; and

·         The ability of the Green Skills programme to help eligible candidates get into work.

 

The Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure acknowledged the impact of the cost of living crisis as vital on the need to address the skills and jobs gap in Manchester and explained that the Council’s strategy was to increase household incomes and lower costs and green jobs and retrofitting would help with these aims.

 

The Director of Inclusive Economy commented that work was needed to emphasise STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the value of trade. The Growth Company was opening a centre in Trafford Park with a focus on these areas and to work with employers.

 

In response to a query regarding leadership and management training, the Director of Inclusive Economy explained that the Council works with universities on this subject and particularly those which offer MBA courses. The Growth Company are also involved in a wider leadership programmes in co-operation with universities and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). 

The Industry Skills Intelligence Lead (GMCA) acknowledged challenges in upskilling and explained that less than 1% of the construction workforce in Manchester were fully qualified in retrofitting. An increase in the workforce was required to encourage competition and specialisation and to ensure the workforce is better prepared for the scale of retrofitting.

 

Members were also informed that GMCA had received funding for upskilling and that this had recently been reissued.

 

Regarding supply and demand for retrofitting and how large-scale funding would help with this, the Industry Skills Intelligence Lead (GMCA) explained that conversations have taken place with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy within central government about requirements and challenges surrounding retrofit. Issues around materials, equipment, capacity and deliverability of organisations, and functions within local authorities and housing providers were cited as potential challenges to large-scale retrofitting.

 

It was stated,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Green Skills and Housing Retrofit pdf icon PDF 571 KB

Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy.

 

This report provides an update on the skills opportunities and challenges faced by Manchester to deliver large scale housing retrofit programmes to achieve low carbon standards. The report focuses on the skills system and implications for the city’s economic growth and development in the context of Developing a More Inclusive Economy - Our Manchester Industrial Strategy and the ambition to be a zero-carbon city by 2038 at the latest.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Inclusive Economy which provided an update on the skills, opportunities and challenges faced by Manchester City Council to deliver large-scale housing retrofit programmes to achieve low carbon standards.

 

Key points and themes of the report included:

 

·         In 2019, the Council set a target to become a zero-carbon city by 2038, with a challenging reduction of at least 50% of our direct CO2 emissions by 2025;

·         By 2032 over 85% of the homes Manchester residents will be living in will have already been built and a large-scale retrofitting programme is, therefore, essential;

·         Large scale investment in retrofit programmes will drive the demand for green skills and provide the foundations to develop a local skills, employment, and business support offer;

·         Challenges in funding to undertake retrofit programmes and the costs involved in retrofitting; and

·         The work of colleges and the GM Low Carbon Academy in delivering retrofit training.

 

Some of the key points and queries that arose from the Committee’s discussions included:

 

·         Responding to needs of the industry given the inflexibility of green skills qualifications and how The Manchester College navigates this;

·         Lack of incentives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take up green skills training and how this could be improved;

·         How much funding in total had been provided for retrofitting by the government;

·         If the Council could prioritise contracts for retrofitting with companies who employ local people; and

·         Addressing the gender imbalance within the construction industry;

·         The scale and number of jobs needed to meet retrofitting targets; and

·         Welcomed the sentiment that “every job is a green job”.

 

The Assistant Principal of The Manchester College explained that green skills qualifications are structured by the awarding organisations and may not be up-to-date in terms of the current needs and practices of the industry. The Manchester College works with contractors in Manchester to develop bespoke modules to complement the curriculum and deliver additional skillsets, thereby responding to the needs of the industry.

 

Access to skills for SMEs was acknowledged as an issue and The Manchester College had recently been involved in delivering free solar thermal training which provided existing plumbers an upskilling opportunity. This training was delivered to 58 students, 9% of whom were female, and a number of students were able to get work in retrofitting upon completion.

 

The Assistant Principal of The Manchester College commented that a single Green Skills Academy for Greater Manchester may be useful as a single point of access and information for SMEs. Discussions were also underway with One Manchester and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) to develop programmes.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Development confirmed that there is a funding shortfall for retrofit although some social housing pilots had taken place in past years and the Council would continue to apply for relevant funding. The Executive Member also stated that the Council had spent £83 million on housing stock in North Manchester since 2005, which had resulted in a 49% reduction  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Social Value and Climate Change pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Report of the Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement.

 

This report provides an update on how the Council’s Social Value Policy, adopted by Executive in 2021 is being used to contribute economically to Manchester’s ambition to be zero-carbon by 2038, supporting green jobs and skills.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement which provided an update on how the Council’s Social Value Policy, adopted by Executive in 2021, was being used to contribute economically to the Council’s ambition to be zero-carbon by 2038, supporting green jobs and skills.

 

Key points and themes of the report included:

 

·         The objectives and approach of the Social Value policy;

·         Outcomes of a review of the Social Value policy in 2021 which included a commitment to a reduction in emissions associated with the goods, services and works contracts that the council procures;

·         Priority cohorts had been identified and tenderers were requested to outline how Social Value proposals would benefit these specific groups;

·         The introduction of a 10% weighting in the evaluation of tenders specifically in relation to climate change and the environment to ensure that the council’s suppliers recognise the climate emergency and share the council’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2038 or sooner; and

·         Work was underway with authorities across Greater Manchester to establish a more harmonised set of social value measures, whilst retaining flexibility for measures in relation to local priorities.

 

Some of the key points and queries that arose from the Committee’s discussions included:

 

·         The number of people supported through the procurement process and are they carbon literate;

·         A request for case studies on what social value means in practice;

·         Whether contractors are required to pay the Living Wage and how this can be monitored and enforced; 

·         A need to increase public communications on social value work to inform and celebrate progress; and

·         If and how social value policy applies to arms-length management organisations (ALMO) and social landlords.

 

The Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement agreed to provide case studies of what social value means in practice outside of the meeting and explained that although figures on the number of people supported through the procurement process were unavailable, an annual survey of the top 300 suppliers was undertaken to analyse trends and showcased at an annual event with suppliers.

 

Members were informed that provisions for carbon literacy training within the supply chain would be covered by the 10% carbon reduction weighting required through the process. Suppliers are expected to outline their current position towards carbon zero, proposals on improving this position, and their target date for achieving net carbon zero as part of the tendering process.

 

The Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement confirmed that as the Council is a Living Wage-accredited organisation, suppliers are also expected to pay the Living Wage. Where suppliers already have a contract with the Council and do not pay the Living Wage, officers would work with the supplier to plan how this could be achieved.

 

In response to a query regarding how this is monitored and enforced, it was stated that the Council was investing in a Contracts Management System and looking into dedicated social value measurement tools to capture information from suppliers and harmonise monitoring of social value across the council.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.

Minutes:

The report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment.

 

Decision:

 

That the Committee note the report.