Skills and Labour Force

The second of the four key objectives outlined on the BIS is to support businesses struggling with attracting and retaining skilled staff, particularly young people and graduates. South & Vale Business Support is heavily involved in facilitating ways to address skills gap in key sectors including building links between educational institutions and employers, holding careers fairs, giving talks to students and funding pop up business schools. You can read more here.

If you have been affected by issues surrounding skills and labour force and need advice, please contact us.

Young Enterprise

To help promote SME career opportunities and engage with education providers, South & Vale Business Support team members Karen Tolley and Nick King currently volunteer for Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise is an organisation that works with young people to support them to develop their employability skills, by delivering enterprise and financial education programmes in schools, colleges and universities.

Karen and Nick work as Business Advisers for pupils from Larkmead School in Abingdon as they take on Young Enterprise’s Company Programme, a scheme that allows students to find out what it’s like to set up and run a business throughout one academic year.

As mentors, the team: 

  • Share our skills, experience and insights of the world of work
  • Provide motivation and inspiration to the students
  • Encourage students to reflect on the skills they are developing & identify how they can use these skills in the future
  • Help students gain an understanding of how a company works – including aspects such as marketing, operations and finance.

In addition, Nick is also a member of the Young Enterprise Board for South and Vale, helping to direct and organise YE programmes in the area. If you’re interested in finding out more about Young Enterprise, or would like to get involved, please contact

Oxford Advanced Skills

The Oxford Advanced Skills training centre enables Oxfordshire businesses to offer young people hi-tech and engineering apprenticeships of the highest quality.

It offers unique benefits for employers, apprentices and the local economy in one of the most thriving areas for science and technology in the UK.

Located at Culham Science Centre, the home of the UK’s fusion energy research programme, Oxford Advanced Skills is a partnership between the UK Atomic Energy Authority and the Science & Technology Facilities Council. The centre is managed by leading apprentice training provider JTL, which works with 6,000 learners and 3,500 employers across England and Wales.

Oxford Advanced Skills is now open and took its first intake of apprentices in September 2016. Eventually the centre will train 125 young people per year in a purpose-built training facility at Culham.

Does your organisation offer solutions to the skills gap? Get in touch.