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Priorities and updates

Greater Manchester Work and Skills Strategy and Priorities 2016-2019

We have developed a Greater Manchester Work and Skills Strategy, which will help us move towards a future system where:

  • Young people will leave compulsory education well prepared for the world of work and further study.
  • Residents will have the right support to make the best choices about their employment and skills options and have better access to the right integrated support at the right time to enter, progress or sustain employment.
  • Employers are able to grow, have access to and invest in the skills they require, encouraging in work support and wage progression.  Employers will be actively engaged in shaping Greater Manchester’s education and skills system and take responsibility in supporting residents back into work.
  • Employment and skills initiatives will be developed and commissioned at a local level, providing unemployed residents and those furthest from the labour market with the right integrated support required to move them closer to work.
  • Further education and training providers will progress more people into intermediate and advanced level skills in areas linked to Greater Manchester’s growth sectors.
  • Health commissioning will be integrated with work and skills support to capitalise on the fact that ’good work is good for your health’.

To help us achieve this, and to make sure activity is adding value and maximising the impact of Greater Manchester investment and initiatives, there are ten key priorities:

  • Improving careers education, information, advice and guidance: to support informed decision-making
  • Reforming the work and skills system to focus on outcomes not outputs: with an outcome framework to  underpin all future commissioning of provision
  • Developing Greater Manchester’s work and skills infrastructure to meet the needs of the economy: working through the Area Based Review, JCP’s Estate Review and the One Public Estate programme
  • Improving attainment from compulsory education: improving achievement of 5+ GCSEs including English and maths at 16 and ensuring more young people achieve a L3 equivalent by the age of 19
  • Strengthening employer engagement: developing a comprehensive approach which puts employers at the heart of the system, from entry level employment to higher level skills
  • Growing the quality and quantity of Apprenticeships: harnessing the opportunities around improved Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance, improved employer engagement and activity linked to the Apprenticeship Levy
  • Developing higher level skills: ensuring a seamless system which supports young people and adults to progress routinely to degree level equivalent skills, and to retain that talent
  • Redesigning universal support provision: providing an integrated and personalised support offer with a view to sustainable job outcomes
  • Developing specialist support for hard-to-reach groups: utilising Working Well and the Work and Health programme to support adults who have been outside the labour market for long periods
  • Ensuring Greater Manchester commissioned programmes have a skills and work focus: working with partners across the ESF, business support and health landscape to ensure all commissioning activity supports delivery of Greater Manchester’s work and skills priorities

Each priority is supported by a programme of activity to drive forward the vision, maximise the potential opportunities available and address some of the challenges that are currently faced in the system. 

Read more about the Greater Manchester Work and Skills Strategy and Priorities 2016-2019

Read the Work and Skills Strategy and Priorities 2016 to 2019 Executive Summary


Greater Manchester Local Skills Report and Labour Market Plan

Greater Manchester’s Employment and Skills Advisory Panel (ESAP) has refreshed its Local Skills Report & Labour Market Plan (LSR) and accompanying core data indicators. The 2022/23 LSR sets out the key skills and employment priorities facing Greater Manchester, building on the 2021/22 report and setting out the direction of travel in order to influence and support local partners and to feed local intelligence into central government.

With a view to the employer-led Local Skills Improvement Plans that will develop in the future as part of the government’s further education and skills reforms, this report is informed by the work of the GM Skills Observatory and GMCA’s ESF Skills for Growth industry intelligence reports, which now cover a significant number of Greater Manchester’s frontier and foundational economy sectors.

The Greater Manchester ESAP brings together representatives from key local stakeholder networks across the city-region’s skills and employment landscape to identify, prioritise and address skills and labour market issues at a local level as part of the Department for Education’s Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) programme.

For more information about the LSR or about the work of the ESAP contact

LSR 2022/23

Read the Greater Manchester Local Skills Report and Labour Market Plan 2022/23 (PDF, 2Mb)

Read the Greater Manchester Local Skills Report and Labour Market Plan 2022/23 - Data Annexes and Reference (PDF, 1.5Mb)

LSR 2021/22

Read the Greater Manchester Local Skills Report and Labour Market Plan (PDF, 1.6Mb)

Read the Greater Manchester Local Skills Report and Labour Market Plan - Data Annexes and Reference (PDF, 1.2Mb)

Greater Manchester’s NEET and Youth Employment Programme

This programme has been designed to re-engage young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) with learning and employment opportunities in Greater Manchester.

Running between January 2022 and September 2023, it will support 6,000 of the city-region’s most disengaged young people aged between 15 and 24 by providing bespoke advice, guidance and individualised support to make progress. It will take referrals until early 2023.

GMCA has awarded Career Connect and Ingeus with £5million respectively from the European Social Fund to deliver the programme. It is comprised of two strands: FutureYou (opens in a new window), which supports those aged between 18 and 24 years old, and Connect to Your Future (open in a new window) which is working with those aged 15 to 19.