The Integrated Regional Employability and Skills (IRES) Programme and its underpinning private, public, and third sector partnership is a key way in which partners intend to embed Inclusive Growth practices in the city regional labour market and evolving policy and practice. £25 million will be spent on seven project propositions over eight years to:

  • increase the visibility and unlock access to good opportunities for all the city region’s citizens;

  • open up new talent pools to business and stimulate increased recruitment from under-represented groups into the good jobs and careers being generated in the region;

  • evolve, streamline, and integrate employability and skills services to ensure citizens are equipped with the skills they need to succeed throughout their working life;

  • put in place complementary support to help people mitigate barriers they may have in achieving their potential and ensuring that these supports are part of an integrated person-centred approach;

  • develop the collective knowledge, organisational cultures, networks, policies and practices that are essential to accelerating progress to an inclusive, innovative and future-proofed regional economy; and

  • maximise the impact of employability and skills investments by public, private, and third sector partners and fully harness the potential of City Region Deal to stimulate a step change in performance.

latest position

The IRES Business case was approved by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal Joint Committee on 17 December 2018. Seven project propositions within the IRES programme will be submitted to the IRES Board and Joint Committee for approval in 2019.

City Region Deal Funding: £25 million over eight years

Programme Lead: Ken Shaw

Project Propositions

There are seven proposed projects within the IRES theme that have been approved and moving into the implementation phase;

Integrated knowledge management systems

This project will aim to better align and integrate partner performance management systems and digital services to enable the more effective pooling, analysis, and dissemination of performance information that will be critical to driving service improvement, increased responsiveness, and the creation of an integrated person-centred approach.

Project Lead: Rona Hunter (The Capital City Partnership)

Project Proposition (PDF 1.41MB)

Labour market analysis and evaluation

This project will create a cross-partner virtual team to undertake research and evaluation support for the IRES programme. It will draw on existing partner expertise to provide insights on the success of our activities, expose obstacles or ineffective approaches, and identify best practice from elsewhere that could be adopted or tested as part of a culture of continuous improvement.

Project Lead: Phil Ford (Skills Development Scotland)

Project Proposition (PDF 1,13MB)

Integrated employer engagement

This project work will clarify, co-ordinate and improve the employability and skills service offer to employers. The partners will establish a “No Wrong Door” approach that will create designated points of contact to manage individual employer relationships that will allow us to; tailor and route our combined service offer, pool and match the opportunities that are generated, reduce double handling, and so strengthen individual relationships. To complement this, the partners will also develop a regional approach to “Community Benefits from Procurement” to ensure that the significant expenditure of the partners fully exploits any opportunity to drive inclusive growth. This project stream will also work on developing our network of Recruitment and Skills Centres to act as a tangible interface between the partners and business particularly in geographic or sectoral high demand areas.

Project Lead: Lead still to be confirmed (City of Edinburgh Council)

Project Proposition (PDF 1.27MB)

Intensive family support service

The service will offer a combination of intensive, general and specialist activities tailored to the needs of the whole family.  Supporting each individual within the families to progress, as well as implementing whole family activities that will build a support network, improve the family dynamic to provide effective support for each other.  The service will be delivered through a multi-agency, family focused approach that will target specific areas of intense need throughout the city region, providing a network of  interventions that will counteract helplessness, dependency, and low aspirations within families.

Project Lead: Adam Dunkerley (Fife Council)

Project Proposition (PDF 2,01MB)

Housing construction and innovation (HCI) targeted skills gateway

The HCI gateway will bring together industry, universities, colleges, schools and other partners to provide an integrated (visible) progression routes into Construction and Low Carbon careers encompassing basic/key skills in schools through to advanced postgraduate training and research role in business that help drive high value growth. It will create and deliver employability, skills attainment, upskilling and career progression and inclusion support activities to enhance productivity, competitiveness and support innovations currently gaining momentum in the sector. This will help address the skills shortages in the sector and open up new opportunities to nontraditional groups of people into the construction sector helping to increase the diversity of the sector.

Project Lead: Prof. Sean Smith (Edinburgh Napier University)

Project Proposition (PDF 2.3MB)

Data-driven innovation (DDI) targeted skills gateway

The DDI Gateway will bring together industry, universities, colleges, schools and other partners to provide integrated and visible progression routes into DDI careers encompassing basic/key skills in schools (digital citizens who interact with public and private digital services) through to advanced postgraduate training and research (digital business leaders driving the development of global digital businesses) that help drive high value growth. It will also help develop the data science curriculum and continuing professional development (CPD) for employability and learning professionals along with integrating skills development and progression opportunities for individuals who can be locked out of the industry helping to address inclusion challenges within the industry.

Project Lead: Alison Muckersie (University of Edinburgh)          

Project Proposition (PDF 2,72MB)

Workforce mobility

This project focuses on the blockers to the full mobility of the regional workforce beyond individual personal skills and capabilities. The initial area of weakness being examined is the role of travel in supporting vulnerable or disengaged members of our workforce to move into and sustain good learning or work opportunities, while also opening up new talent pools for employers. There are several transport subsidy schemes that young people, job seekers, and new (vulnerable) job entrant can access to help sustain work, but these schemes are not joined up and can have considerable restrictions in their use. Also in rural areas the level of demand may mean that travel options are limited. The project will therefore explore the potential of the National Entitlement Card to be the mechanism for a single concessionary travel offer, examine how the existing combined travel support offer can be used to maximise the positive impact on disadvantaged groups seeking work or learning, and finally how we can work with transport colleagues to identify opportunities to create active travel options to that widen the range of transport options for disadvantaged job seekers and learners.

Project Lead: Douglas Scott (Scottish Borders Council)

Project Propositions (PDF 1,36MB)