Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities - Information For Our Partners


Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities - Information For Our Partners


Sheffield City Council is the Council for the Metropolitan Borough of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. The Council is divided into 5 areas of work:


  • Deputy Chief Executive
  • Communities
  • Place
  • Resources
  • Children Young People and Families


Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities Service is located within the Children Young People and Families Portfolio of Sheffield City Council. The Portfolio is led by the Director of Children’s Services who has statutory responsibility under the Children’s Act 2004 to discharge education and children’s social service functions on behalf of the Local Authority.


What We Do


Our Service aims to equip both young people and adults, particularly the most vulnerable, with the skills, confidence and ambition needed for life, active citizenship and work in the 21st Century. In the pursuit of these goals we lead for the city on the 14-19, Adult Learning and Employment plans and the Skills and Integrated Youth Support strategies.


Through them, we aim to deliver high impact measures that support the following corporate ambitions and priorities:

Create a better life for children and young people, in particular securing a successful transition to adulthood.
Lead on Sheffield’s transformation, in particular improving skills.
Support people to be healthy and independent, especially vulnerable adults.
Put the customer first and achieving better value for money with emphasis on customer focus

Our service mission statement is:

“To enable the City Council and its partners to organise the high impact learning, skills and employment solutions that will prepare children, young people and adults, especially the most vulnerable, for life and work in the 21st Century, helping them realise their potential and allow them to make a positive contribution to the local economy and to the communities in which they live”.

Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities Services managed by Tony Tweedy is divided into the following areas:


  • 14-19 Team
  • Employment and Skills
  • Youth Services
  • Families and Communities
  • Strategic Support and Development
  • Performance and Analysis Service (PAS)


We have a strong track record over many years of delivering complex partnership projects funded by European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Community Initiatives – e.g. Commenius, VOLARE and Transversal.


Vocational Training Experience


The Service directly manages four Vocational Training Centres:


  • Red Tape Central
  • Construction and Design Centre
  • Engineering Centre
  • Sheaf Training


We offer a wide range of vocational education programmes designed to help both young people and adults develop their skills and move onto further learning, find a job or improve their career prospects by offering apprenticeships and courses with work placements. At Red Tape Central we deliver 28 courses covering ICT:


  • IT, Business and Administration (including Customer Service)
  • IT Technicians (including Cisco and ICT maintenance and repairs)
  • IT Users (including Computer Art, Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver
  • Music Technology and Music Performance (including Music Production, Music Business and Cubase Basics)


Made in Sheffield, Computer Science Young Ambassadors Scheme


We have also been working closely with the University of Sheffield to develop a school curriculum model which will encourage young people to consider Computer Science as a career. A five term scheme has been designed and delivered by the University of Sheffield, Department of Computer Science working in conjunction with Sero Consulting, a range of local employers and schools.


It is geared to the interests and requirements of Key Stage 4 students hoping to get at least 5 grades at A*-C, who have an interest in computing in guises ranging from computer games to programming hardware, from large scale everyday uses in apps and social media to highly specialised applications you might never imagine!


In curriculum terms it is designed to:


  • Deliver the sort of experience of computer science advocated by the Minister of State, therefore adding significant value to Level 2 awards offered in schools
  • Emphasise the role in maths in all forms computing (including computer games), providing practical experiences that will build maths skills
  • Develop 21st century workplace skills, personal learning and thinking skills with particular emphasis on problem solving and working in teams
  • Introduce students to the world of work through real employers, workplaces and practitioners in a variety of IT-related specialties


Running from October 2013 to March 2015, it will provide 70 hours of experience (the equivalent to a standard 10 day work Year 10 placement) as follows:


  • Term 1: Induction Day
  • Terms 1-5: 9 afternoon sessions run by the University department
  • Terms 3: Project boot camp over 2 days with industry experts (Friday / Saturday)
  • Terms 2-4: 3 full day employer workplace visits




We are responsible for bringing together providers from the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop progression routes into employment and training for young people and adults. We, therefore, have extensive reach into local and regional employers not only for employment but also work experience and volunteering. Working with local labour market information and with on the ground intelligence from employer networks we understand the needs of the employment market and provide solutions to the recruitment difficulties the sector is experiencing.


For example Sheffield’s Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) employ almost 27,000 people within an hour’s commute, at 37.8% this is equivalent to almost two fifths of the region's jobs. With significant growth in recent years, a substantial number of companies now share a unique body of experience and talent that makes Sheffield one of the leading Centre’s of digital specialism in the country.

It is a sector that has a combination of high performing home-grown businesses and international market leaders. Much of the activity takes place in the following areas:


  • IT Services – Sheffield provides a robust base for a number of global IT industry operators offering full lifecycle services through to delivering including ongoing support of large-scale enterprise level systems. It is also home to one of the most innovative broadband ISPs in the UK market, Plus Net
  • Interactive Media – Companies in Sheffield are establishing a national reputation as leaders in the field of interactive media where interactive services, applications and content bring together the different worlds of computing, the web, mobile phones and video games
  • E-learning – One particular area of specialism in Sheffield is e-learning. The City has established itself as the UK Centre of e-learning with around 1,000 people employed in e-learning development and service businesses. The City is home to one of the largest applied e-learning services in the world, Learn Direct, as well as a wide range of companies covering the full spectrum of e-learning solutions including online information services


We work closely with many of these employers including:


  • The Made in Sheffield Science Young Ambassadors scheme which is cited above. This model involves the Cutlers Company of Hallamshire. The current Master Cutler is Chair of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Board and the IT requirements of a hospital are significant and this has been beneficial in informing our thinking in ICT developments in a clinical environment
  • The well-developed Creative Digital Industries sector where we work with closely with a range of employers including Sero Consulting, Plus Net, Crossover Labs, HSBC, etc
  • The City Council also has a range of business partner contracts with companies including Capita, Veoila, Kier Construction, Amey. These all require an ICT literate workforce and they are committed to working with the City Council to provide work experience and Apprenticeship opportunities
  • The 2 Sheffield Universities (Sheffield University is a key partner in the Computer Science initiative) and Sheffield Hallam University who engage with the City Council in many ways including teacher training via the School Teaching School Alliances


Employment and Skills


Our Employment and Skills Team works to help create a vibrant economy where employment rates are high, businesses are competitive, people have the right skills and work is the best route out of poverty.


We work to make a significant contribution to the delivery of Sheffield’s Employment Strategy. This involves working with employers to help them recruit, train and develop the workforce they need to be competitive and successful. We also work with partners to develop, fund, commission and provide employment related support that helps individuals find, get and keep jobs.


The key projects that we are currently delivering are:


  • Skills Made Easy – this supports Sheffield City Region’s SME’s recruit apprentices and improve workforce skills
  • Sheffield 100 Apprenticeship Programme – this provides Sheffield’s SME’s with a wage subsidy for new apprentices
  • Employability Programme – this supports vulnerable people to overcome personal and practical barriers that enables them to move into sustainable work
  • Employment and Skills in Procurement and Planning – ensuring that employment and skills are included in all Sheffield City Council contracts and planning agreements where appropriate
  • Work experience – set up, organise and support work experience opportunities for 14-16 year olds in Sheffield schools



Virtual Learning Network


We also have a Virtual Learning Network which is a high definition, state-of-the-art web streaming, recording and video conferencing service funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

It was initially installed to enable and facilitate community enterprise and increase social inclusion in the Creative and Digital Industries sector but it is now being exploited to create learning opportunities, develop curriculum content and provide professional development opportunities for our trainers and learners.

Installed, configured and maintained by video over IP experts Techex, with technical support also provided by Sheffield based networking experts Resolve IT, the network a very high level of multimedia functionality, enabling registered users to:


  • Broadcast live HD internet video (including transmission of a conference, presentation or performance by live web-cast)
  • Securely host ‘on demand’ video content on our dedicated, high speed servers (including record, playback and archive video footage)
  • Provide access to an exclusive channel for ‘owned’ video content
  • Make HD video conference calls (this enables globally communication including “face to face” meetings, share presentations and collaborate world-wide)




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