Agenda and draft minutes

Adults and Lifelong Learning Select Committee
Thursday, 11 October 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions

Contact: Andrew Baird  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions


Declarations of Interest


    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or

    as soon as possible thereafter:


    i.       any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or;


    ii.      other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting




    ·        Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest;


    ·        as well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner); and


    ·        Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.



    There were none.


Questions & Petitions

    To receive any questions or petitions




    1.     The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (Friday 5 October).


    2.     The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (Thursday 4 October).


    3.     The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.


    There were none.


Response from the Cabinet to Issues Referred by the Select Committee


Surrey County Council Apprenticeship Strategy pdf icon PDF 151 KB

    Purpose of the Report:


    This report provides an overview of how Surrey County Council’s is fulfilling its responsibilities in respect of the Apprenticeship Levy which was introduced by Central Government in April 2017. The report focuses on the Council’s internal apprenticeships training programme and does not consider the wider picture among Surrey employers


    Additional documents:


    Declarations of Interests:






    Lien Cross, Consultant – Organisational Development, Surrey County Council

    Joy Hurman, Lead Consultant – Learning and Development, Surrey County Council

    Mary Lewis, Cabinet Member for All Age Learning

    Luis Moore, Apprentice (Recruitment Team), Surrey County Council


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1. An introduction to the report was provided by officers who highlighted that apprenticeships would support Surrey County Council (the Council) to develop and retain a skilled and flexible workforce capable of responding to future changes in local authority service delivery. Apprenticeships also created opportunities for staff by providing a framework for the whole workforce to undertake relevant qualifications helping to raise knowledge and aspirations. Members were informed about the “Vision for Apprenticeships 2020” which outlined the UK Government’s aspirations to increase apprenticeships nationally through a 0.5% levy on all employers in the UK with an annual pay bill in excess of £3 million. As part of the Apprenticeship Reforms, the Council is required to pay £2,040,000 annually into the Levy and has a target to employ over 600 apprentices per year across the Council and local authority maintained schools. The Committee was reminded that information contained within the report was orientated specifically towards the Council’s internal apprenticeship recruitment.


    Rose Thorn arrived at the meeting at 10:10am

    1. The Committee heard that factors such as the recruitment freeze as well as the Council’s Transformation Programme had impacted on the ability of services to recruit apprentices and that this would continue to cause challenges over the coming months. Members were informed, however, that it was important to ensure the right structures were in place to support recruitment and retention of apprentices by ensuring effective linkages between services within the Council and improving collaboration with external partners. An Apprenticeships Task Force had been convened to establish the structures required to ensure that the Council was in a position to recruit and retain apprenticeships once there was greater stability across services.


    1. The Committee asked how the Council would measure success in delivering against its Apprenticeship Strategy. Officers highlighted that recouping the money committed to the Levy and delivering against the Council’s Public Sector Target for annual apprenticeship starts would collectively provide a good barometer of success in delivery against the Council’s Apprenticeships Strategy. Members heard that it was also important to ensure the Council was able to keep apprentices once they had completed their training to ensure that the skills and knowledge they had developed were retained in-house. The Council was in the process of gathering evidence to understand what made a good apprenticeship to inform is own training offer.


    4.     Clarity was sought by the Committee on the number of apprentices that were employed by the Council. Members were advised that the Council employed 371 apprentices who were each at different stages of their training. Members heard that funding drawn-down from the Levy could only be spent on training costs and not on salaries pre-apprenticeship programmes.


    5.     Members asked whether there was potential to collaborate with partner  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Adult Social Care Strategic Priorities: Workforce pdf icon PDF 167 KB

    Purpose of the Report:


    This report provides the Adults and Lifelong Learning Select Committee with:

    1)     information on the national, regional and Surrey challenge facing the Adult Social Care workforce;


    2)     information on initiatives in place to support delivery of the Adult Social Care workforce strategy in Surrey, with a focus on the key areas of challenge for Surrey County Council and the independent care provider sector; and


    3)    recommendations for the Adults and Lifelong Learning Select Committee to consider regarding the Adult Social Care workforce.


    Additional documents:


    Declarations of Interest:




    Mel Few, Cabinet Member for Adults

    Joanna Klimera, Lead Consultant – Service Partner Adult Social Care, Surrey County Council

    Alison Lawson, Practice Development Manager, Surrey County Council

    Erica Lockhart, Chief Executive, Surrey Care Association

    Alex Mackay, Workforce Strategy and Business Support Manager, Surrey County Council

    Nick Markwick, Director, Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

    Sonya Sellar, Area Director – Adult Social Care, Surrey County Council

    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1. The report was introduced by witnesses who advised the Committee that recruitment and retention of adult social care staff was a national, regional and Surrey challenge. Across the country, poor image of social care and a perceived lack of prestige resulted in people not being attracted into a career in social care. The NHS had a more positive profile among the public and were perceived as offeing staff clearer career pathways. Those considering a career in care were therefore more likely to apply for positions within the NHS. Members heard that recruitment and retention of staff was one of the most significant challenges in the care sector in Surrey and that the Council had introduced a number of initiatives to address this challenge including working with colleagues in the NHS and Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex (HEKSS). The Council was working with Surrey’s independent care provider sector through a program of work that aimed to support quality, competency and capacity across the workforce. Within this program of work Surrey Care Association led on a Surrey-wide recruitment and retention initiative. Members also received an update on recruitment and retention challenges across the independent care sector in Surrey. The availability of affordable housing, perceptions of care workers as low skilled and a lack of career progression opportunities were also harming the capacity of independent care providers to recruit and retain staff.


    1. Attention was drawn to the significant number of social care staff working in Surrey who were from the European Economic Area (EEA) particularly within the Independent Care Sector and clarity was sought by the Committee on the impact that the UK leaving the EU would have on the ability of providers to recruit and retain staff. Members heard that the independent care sector in Surrey had serious concerns about the impact that it will have, particularly those that employ large number of staff who are from the European Union (EU). The Committee was informed that there was a shortage of local people with the skills or inclination to become care workers which created problems for the entirety of the sector in Surrey. Concern was expressed that the incorrect perception of care workers as being low-skilled meant that national organisations had failed to grasp the potential impact that Brexit could have on the capacity of providers to recruit and retain social care staff.


    1. Members expressed concern that 36% of posts within the Council’s Reablement service were vacant and requested clarity on how many people it would be necessary to recruit to have a fully staffed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    The Select Committee is asked to review and approve the Forward Work Programme and provide comment as required.

    Additional documents:


    Declarations of interest:






    Andrew Baird, Democratic Services Officer


    Key points raised during the discussions:


    1. Members enquired about what opportunities the Select Committee would be given to scrutinise relevant aspects of the Council’s Transformation Programme. Officers advised that scrutiny of the business cases that underpinned the Transformation Programme was held by the Corporate Overview Select Committee but that responsibility for scrutinising the Programme had been delegated to individual Select Committees. Specific approaches to how scrutiny of the Transformation Programme would be conducted was still being worked out by officers but Members were advised that they would be given more detail on this was forthcoming.


    1. The conversation turned to an item that had previously been considered by the Adults and Health Select Committee regarding the amount of Adult Social Care debt that was owed to the Council. Officers stated that the Council’s approach to recouping Adult Social Care debt had been considered by select committees on numerous occasions in the past but that little tangible benefit had been derived from this scrutiny. Given the need for the Select Committee to prioritise the areas that it scrutinise the Committee was asked to consider carefully whether Adult Social Care debt should be included on its Forward Work Programme. Members responded by highlighting that the Council was owed over £16 million in unpaid care fees which was significant given the financial challenges confronting the Council and it was agreed that an item on Adult Social Care debt would be included on the Committee’s Forward Work Programme for its meeting on 13 February 2019.


    1. Members enquired as to whether the Committee would be given the opportunity to scrutinise the budgets of the services within its remit. Officers stated that responsibility for scrutinising budgets remained the responsibility of the Corporate Overview Select Committee and that it was not known whether any aspect of budget scrutiny would be delegated down to individual Select Committees.


    Actions/ further information to be provided:


    1. An item on Adult Social Care debt to be added to the Adults and Lifelong Learning Select Committee Forward Work Programme for its meeting on 13 February 2019.





    That the Adults and Lifelong Select Committee reviewed items that it is due to consider at future meetings.



Date of the Next Meeting