The Increasing Employment Network

This Increasing Employment Network supports the Somerset Employment and Skills Group (ESG) to achieve the following aim; as set out within its strategy:

  • Ensuring businesses can recruit the right people, with the right attitude, motivation and skills.
  • To oversee operational delivery of skills and employment initiatives.

The Network has a key role to play in the development and operation of the pipeline of opportunities linked to Hinkley Point and other major employment projects within Somerset, providing training and employment options for individuals seeking to access opportunities within such prominent developments, and aligning intelligence and provision to assist businesses with backfilling opportunities created within the wider economy.

Partners within the Network are particularly focused upon ensuring that individuals can become ‘the right people’ by helping them to overcome the barriers that prevent them from entering or staying in education, employment and training. The network is focused on ensuring that emerging opportunities around Somerset for such individuals are collectively identified; provision and support best aligned to facilitate recruitment; and business supported to work with those individuals furthest from the labour market. 

The Network provides the ESG with regular updates regarding its activities and highlights any challenges that affect its ability to contribute to achieving the above aim.  It also responds to direct requests for information and seeks to provide solutions to specific issues identified by the ESG.

Working with and through the ESG, the Network has a key role in:

  • Mapping and aligning intelligence on emerging employment opportunities within  Somerset and its immediate environs, providing a pipeline for local  individuals;
  • Monitor  operational delivery of skills and employment initiatives’  to ensure Somerset’s neds are met. All  Lead Accountable Body responsibilities to be taken by IEN partners. (DWP  may have a conflict of interest if DWP/ ESF funding is being used).
  • Knowing  the attitudes, motivations and skills that are sought by businesses in Somerset and communicating the common barriers to participation in education, employment and skills, faced by Somerset jobseekers;
  • Influencing  and improving access to high-quality pre-employment and in-work support that meets the needs of employers and jobseekers, through the sharing and championing of good practice and open challenge of poor performance; and
  • Collaborating  to make best use of resources; avoid duplication and address gaps in pre-employment and in-work support to promote appropriate progression of  all jobseekers.

Members of the Network are mainly drawn from policy-makers and service commissioners (people who are able to make management decisions on behalf of the organisation they represent) , bringing together those developing growth projects, those developing people and those working with individuals to enter work or move to new opportunities. Individual providers will be signposted to join the skills forum.

The Network is currently chaired by Ali Porter of Jobcentre Plus/DWP.


Agendas and minutes

2015 Meeting Dates ~ 10 June / 14 July / 8 September / 17 November


05 November 2013

01 April 2014

10 June 2014

09 Sept 2014

11 Nov 2014

03 March 2014 ~ available from

Somerset Employer Skills Survey