Annual report 2022-23



Overview.. 4

Our vision. 5

Supporting delivery of the Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development in Oxfordshire  5

Our focus areas 7

Our stakeholders 7

Steering Group. 7

Education working group. 8

Inclusive Employment working group. 8

Social value and procurement working group. 8

Place based working group. 8

Resources. 8

Amplifying our impact through partnership working. 9

Communications and secretariat support 9

Fundraising. 10

Achievements. 10

Building an effective partnership. 10

Establishing the partnership. 10

Establishing working groups 10

Employment of a partnership manager 11

Engaging with stakeholders and shaping the vision. 11

Establishing the OIEP’s profile. 11

Achieving recognition as an organisation for delivering change in Oxfordshire. 11

Growing the work of organisations that are delivering change in Oxfordshire. 12

Delivery of a new Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Charter 13

Developing the Charter 13

Launching the Charter 14

Promoting the Charter 14

Supporting Charter organisations 15

Monitoring the Charter’s impact 15

The OIEP HR Network. 15

HR Network event: Supporting leavers into employment 16

HR Network event: Visit to HM Bullingdon. 16

Future events 17

Building the OIEP’s profile and supporting knowledge sharing. 17

New website for the OIEP. 17

Developing strategy and impact measurement 17

OIEP Strategy 2023-6 and Delivery Plan 2023-4. 17

Supporting local and national strategy development 18

Impact measurement 18

About the OIEP. 18

Background. 18

Structure and governance. 19

Our Charter pledgers. 20




Oxfordshire is home to significant inequalities. It is one of only three regions that contributes a surplus to the UK economy, but despite its global position and perceived affluence, its wealth and opportunities are not evenly distributed. 


Oxfordshire contains 17 areas within the two most deprived Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) deciles.[1] They are mostly contained within 10 wards – 1 in Abingdon, 3 in Banbury and 6 in Oxford.[2] The IMD focuses on seven domains of deprivation: income, employment, education, skills and training, health and disability, crime, barriers to housing and services and living environment. The city of Oxford is the second most unequal place in the UK in terms of income, housing, affordability and life expectancy.[3] 


The Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP) is a county-wide group established in 2021 that brings together employers, business, education, community groups and public sector. Our aim is to work together to create opportunities and benefits for all people within the county. Our work supports the delivery of the outcomes of the Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development in Oxfordshire, which all councils have adopted. We do this by sharing knowledge, expertise and resources, and creating links between different areas of work. 


Partnership working is instrumental to our success, expanding our reach and unlocking access to a breadth of resources and diverse networks that exceed the scope of any individual organisation, fortifying our collective capacity for impactful and sustainable change. We are grateful for the collective drive of our partnership organisations that deliver significant resource in support of the Partnership’s aims.


We are focused on four areas to deliver our vision: education, employment, social value and procurement, and place shaping. 

We aim to work with projects across Oxfordshire that the OIEP can support and grow or amplify their work. We are also building a repository of resources, case studies and signposting to support organisations working towards a more inclusive economy. 


This report gives an overview of OIEP and highlights progress so far. Of note is the development of the OIEP Strategy 2023-26 and Delivery Plan 2023-24; implementation and wide uptake of the Inclusive Economy Charter; the establishment of the OIEP HR Network; and creation of four focussed working groups that enable partners to support one another delivering aspects of our aim and purpose.


The report also identifies key stakeholders and assesses the effectiveness of the governance and methods utilised by the partnership.


We conclude that the partnership is strong and valuable and has successfully leveraged additional resources from a number of sources, but that it is in need of a continued, diversified and enlarged funding settlement in order to support the development of a more inclusive economy in Oxfordshire.

Our vision

Our aim is to work together to create a more equal region that creates opportunities and benefits for all people within the county.   


Our focus is on tackling areas that really need attention, which will have impact and where we can make a real difference. 


We work with projects across Oxfordshire that the partnership can support and help to grow or amplify their work as well as creating a repository of case studies, information and signposting related to the inclusive economy. 

Supporting delivery of the Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development in Oxfordshire

The Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development in Oxfordshire sets out ambitions for what the county could be like by 2050. It has been adopted by each of the Oxfordshire Councils. The nine outcomes within the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision are ambitious - delivering them requires long-term collective commitment and investment by a wide array of strategic stakeholders and partners who make decisions about investment and placemaking across Oxfordshire.



The nine outcomes of the Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development in Oxfordshire.


By fostering collaborative efforts among public, private, and community stakeholders, the OIEP harnesses the collective power of diverse organisations in support of these outcomes. In alignment with the core principles of the Strategic Vision, the OIEP drives initiatives that bolster education, enhance skills development, and create pathways to meaningful employment for all Oxfordshire’s residents, establishing a foundation for sustainable prosperity in Oxfordshire.


The Partnership particularly focuses on the following three outcomes:


Outcome: Our residents will be healthier and happier, and overall wellbeing will have improved The OIEP improves skills and educational attainment for Oxfordshire residents, which in turn gives people access to employment opportunities.


Outcome: Our local economy will be globally competitive, sustainable, diverse and inclusive The OIEP’s education and inclusive employment working groups are working to create an environment and communities that can adapt to change, a region that is resilient in the face of shocks in the economy, and a workforce that responds to different needs and different kinds of work in the future.


Outcome: Our vibrant historic and cultural offer will be rich, diverse and enhanced The OIEP’s partners work together to create a more equal region that creates opportunities and benefits for all people within the county.



Our focus areas

We have set up four action focused working groups to deliver our vision:


                    Educational attainment - focusing on early years, educational attainment of GCSE English and Maths, and building better links between business and education to help shape career choices. 

                    Inclusive employment - focuses on both employers and employees. Looking at how organisations can create better pathways into work whilst understanding the barriers people face to accessing employment.

                    Social value and procurement - spending money locally, particularly by large public sector organisations like our councils and our universities, puts money back into the local economy and creates opportunities for local businesses – we aim to grow the amount of money that is spent within our county, for our county. We want to make sure the businesses that benefit from this are investing into our local communities, through jobs, training or improving our environment.

                    Place shaping - investing in places that need it most and working with local communities so that money spent in our economy helps address our biggest challenges in health, environment, and housing.


Our stakeholders

OIEP has a broad and varied representation bringing expertise and knowledge from business, education, voluntary, community and public sector which enable us to develop and deliver our vision.


Steering Group

Abingdon & Witney College


Activate Learning

Oxford City Council

Advanced Oxford

Oxford Civic Society


Oxford Hub


Oxford United Community Foundation

Beard Construction

Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust

Blake Morgan

Oxfordshire County Council

Brookes University

Oxfordshire Youth



Cherwell District Council


Citizens Advice Bureau



South Oxfordshire District council

Federation of Small Businesses



University of Oxford

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF)

Vale of White Horse District Council

Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action (OCVA)

West Oxfordshire District Council

Oxfordshire Social Enterprise Partnership (OSEP)




Education working group

Acer Trust

Oxford Civic Society

Activate Learning

Oxford Hub

Brookes University

Oxfordshire Youth

Community First Oxon

Oxfordshire County Council


River Learning Trust


Trinity College


Inclusive Employment working group


Owen Mumford



Beard Construction

Oxford Artisan Distillery[BC1] 

Blake Morgan

Oxford Civic Society

Blenheim Palace

Oxford Hub

Brookes University



Seetec Plus


Tap Social

Federation of Small Businesses







Social value and procurement working group




Oxford City Council

Blake Morgan

Oxford Civic Society

Blenheim Palace

Oxford Hub


Oxfordshire County Council

Explosive Learning






OUH Foundation Trust

University of Oxford


Place based working group


Oxford Hub

Cherwell District Council

Oxford Civic Society

Citizens Advice Bureau

Oxfordshire Youth

Community First Oxon

Oxfordshire County Council



Kellogg College

South Oxfordshire District Council


University of Oxford


Vale of White Horse District Council





Local authority funding was provided to the Strategic Partnerships team to employ a Partnership Manager and part-cover the cost of communications and democratic services support colleagues. A total budget of £18,000 per annum was made available to the OIEP Manager to cover event costs and expenses for April 2022 – March 2024[DA2] . This funding is vital for the effective running of the partnership.

Amplifying our impact through partnership working

The OIEP’s work is made possible by the significant support and in-kind contributions from the organisations above (see Stakeholders, above). Senior representatives from a wide array of influential organisations in the County contribute their expertise and influence to the OIEP, unlocking skills, knowledge, and access to business and community networks.


These organisations are committed to working in partnership and OIEP facilitates this in a strategic, coordinated and proactive manner.


Meetings are chaired and attended voluntarily by working group members: the non-Local Authority contribution to this is conservatively estimated at more than 2.5FTE[DA3] .


This figure does not account for the additional and significant time these members contribute to the partnership outside these meetings, developing strategies, developing resources, and raising the profile of the Partnership and its aims.


Additional in-kind resource is provided through these stakeholders volunteering time and expertise. For example, the OIEP is receiving support from the previous Director of Development for the Oxford University’s Faculty of Law in the development of funding strategy and support for OIEP projects.


We are also grateful to have received a £10,000 contribution from University of Oxford.


Financial support from the local authorities has been a key factor in OIEP’s success in 22/23, and this report shows that the same progress and impact is expected for 23/24.

Communications and secretariat support

The support received from the Strategic Partnership support team DSO officers and communications coordinator has been incredibly valuable, allowing the OIEP Manager to focus on delivery. The support team has provided secretariat, event management, social media, and internal and external communications, all of which have enhanced the partnership’s local and national profile, engagement, progress, and impact.


The communications co-ordinator has established the OIEP branding, social media channels, web presence, and the new OIEP website (due Oct 23) which will provide a vital showcase for the partnership, facilitating its knowledge-sharing and advocacy work. They have also produced a suite of branded materials to support the OIEP at recruitment fairs and other events, and support with event delivery including follow-up engagement.


Part of the co-ordinator’s role is to leverage resource from partner organisations. They designed the Charter and led on its promotion, providing pledgers with a comms pack to promote the Charter on their own channels. By co-ordinating with the comms teams at the Local Authorities and other partner organisations, the comms co-ordinator is also able to substantially raise the partnership’s profile beyond the reach of its own platforms.


The secretariat team plan and deliver OIEP meetings and produce the agendas and minutes for these and help facilitate the organisation and smooth running of the OIEP’s stakeholder events. This is vital support in a complex partnership organisation with multiple stakeholders and overlapping workstreams like the OLNP.


OIEP is working hard to develop a funding strategy working group focussed on:

                    Funding and scaling-up the work of the OIEP

                    Ensuring the OIEP is sustained as an effective partnership with appropriate secretariat and management resource

                    Seek an element of investment and recyclable funds


The OIEP also supports its partners’ funding applications for specific projects. For example, the partnership supported the volunteer school-reading charity ARCh to draft their funding application for Oxfordshire Community Foundation Step Change fund to enable their expansion.


Building an effective partnership

The partnership has an ambitious vision for Oxfordshire’s economy – for it to achieve this, it needs effective governance, efficient work programmes, and support from a wide array of influential stakeholders who can make an impact in the County. The first steps to achieving the vision was to establish the structure of the partnership and build relationships with these stakeholders.


Establishing the partnership

·         Establishing and structuring the governance of the partnership and developing key relationships and programmes of work to ensure the partnership is a robust, wide-reaching, and effective mechanism for delivering its vision. (See ‘Stakeholders’ below for the members of the steering group)


Establishing working groups

·         For each of the four key areas of focus for the OIEP a working group has been established with a broad range of influential representatives and chaired by a member of the partnership with particular expertise and knowledge in that field. (See ‘Stakeholders’ below for the members of these working groups)


Employment of a partnership manager

·         An OIEP Manager started in post in September 2022, funded by the Future Oxfordshire Partnership (FOP) for 2 years. The OIEP Manager provides vital strategic and secretariat support, working with partners to develop and deliver a long-term programme of activity which will achieve the vision of the OIEP.


Engaging with stakeholders and shaping the vision

·         In partnership with Aspire, Oxfordshire Social Enterprise Partnership (OSEP) and Bouygues E&S Solutions, an event was held at the Ashmolean Museum in May 2022 to engage with employers with a focus on ‘Let’s make an inclusive economy in Oxfordshire a reality’ including a workshop introducing the draft Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership.


The event connected organisations with the support available in Oxfordshire to help organisations to become more inclusive and have an even greater social impact in their community, sharing guidance on how to:

-      Procure services and products with social value in mind

-      Support digital inclusion efforts and reuse your surplus digital devices

-      Empower your employees to volunteer for local good causes

-      Recruit inclusively into your workforce.

Establishing the OIEP’s profile

·         A brand, including a logo and suite of branded materials, and a web and social media presence, was developed by the comms co-ordinator to improve the OIEP’s ability communicate and promote its work.


Achieving recognition as a critical organisation for delivering change in Oxfordshire

The OIEP’s pioneering work has been included as an exemplar measure for tackling inequality in the Oxfordshire Local Skills Improvement Plan.


Committing to the OIEP Charter features in the plan as a measure local skills providers can take to ‘drive work to tackle inequality’.














Growing the work of organisations that are delivering change in Oxfordshire

The OIEP uses its collective power to help organisations that are making positive change in Oxfordshire expand their work. In 2023, the partnership supported ARCh (Assisted Reading for Children) in a successful fundraising bid. This funding will allow them to recruit a member of staff who will lead on recruiting new volunteers to the charities pioneering work inspiring a love of reading in Oxfordshire children, enhancing their well-being and improving life chances.


This in turn supports the OIEP’s aim of increasing educational attainment in the County as well as the Strategic Vision outcomes that ‘Our residents will be healthier and happier, and overall wellbeing will have improved’ and ‘Our local economy will be globally competitive, sustainable, diverse and inclusive’.


A person and child sitting at a table  Description automatically generated

An ARCh volunteer reading with a child. ARCh’s work helps improve educational attainment in Oxfordshire.


Delivery of a new Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Charter

Developing the Charter

A poster with text and images  Description automatically generated

The partnership have developed a Charter as a way for employers to demonstrate support for and commitment to making Oxfordshire a fairer and more inclusive place to live and work.



The Charter promotes action via pledges which organisations will sign up to. These recognise the importance and value of supporting an inclusive economy across Oxfordshire. By taking action on the pledges organisations will show a commitment to improving social mobility and increasing prosperity for both our communities and residents.


Employers are asked to choose from a selection of pledges that are relevant for their own organisations from 6 groups:

·         Support local and social economy – using our buying power to support the local economy and maximise social value

·         Opportunities to work – supporting those furthest from the labour market on their journey towards secure employment

·         Sharing resources, skills and assets – practical ways to ensure goods and services are accessible to all

·         Recruit inclusively – making jobs accessible for all residents and hiring from diverse communities

·         Improve training and educational attainment – creating workplaces where employees can thrive and grow and supporting education programmes for children

·         Provide fair wages – ensuring employees have a fair and decent wage


Launching the Charter

                    The partnership launched the Charter at an event on 24th January 2023 at The Old Fire Station in Oxford, attended by over 120 delegates.  We were delighted to have some fantastic keynote speakers: Professor Irene Tracey, Marjorie Glasgow and Darren Burns who is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Timpson Group and the Head of the Timpson Foundation. 


Delegates heard inspiring talks about why each of those pledge groupings are important and the benefits they can bring for both the employer and the employees through presentations from organisations that have already implemented inclusive economy measures.


You can watch a recording of the event here.

Professor Irene Tracey, Vice Chancellor of University of Oxford, speaks at the OIEP’s Charter launch in January.


Promoting the Charter

·         The OIEP and its partners have promoted the Charter at events, through word of mouth, and through digital media. More than 50 organisations have either signed or are in the process of signing the charter, equating to approximately 600 pledges. 


This includes pledges to transfer unused apprenticeship levy to help grow apprenticeships in Oxfordshire, pledging employee time to volunteer for a variety of community projects and mentoring, donating devices to Getting Oxfordshire On-line as well a variety of pledges focussed on how to improve employment pathways for people through changes to recruitment and HR policies and procedures.

Freeths sign the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Charter, with OIEP Chairs Jeremy Long and Jan Royall.


Supporting Charter organisations

·         The OIEP works with each organisation throughout the 12 months providing bespoke support with the implementation of pledges dependent on requirements - this could be signposting to relevant information or buddying with an organisation that has already implemented that pledge.


Monitoring the Charter’s impact

·         At the end of the first 12 months the impact of the Charter and the pledges for employers, employees and the community will be developed into an annual report to guide the evolution of the Charter and ensure it continues to be an effective mechanism for bringing about change.

The OIEP HR Network

The OIEP has established an HR Network to engage with HR leads in businesses across the county to support its inclusive recruitment and employment goals by:

·         sharing information and case studies on making an inclusive economy work in practice.

·         providing opportunities to knowledge share and network.


HR Network event: Supporting leavers into employment

·         Only 17% of ex-offenders manage to get a job within a year of release. Finding and retaining meaningful employment is vital for helping prison leavers to rebuild their lives, and supporting these people into work can also help businesses tackle skills shortages.


·         The inaugural HR network was held in July 2023. It was delivered in partnership with Seetec Plus, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Fedcap, TAP Social Movement, Aspire, DWP and Owen Mumford. giving practical advice and case studies about supporting ex-offenders into work. The event was a great success with over fifty attendees from different sectors across Oxfordshire - lots of knowledge was shared and new connections made. A follow-up questionnaire found employers who attended were inspired to consider employing prison leavers.


Paul Humpherson from TAP Social Movement presenting to employers at the OIEP’s inaugural HR Network event, ‘Supporting prison leavers into employment’.



HR Network event: Visit to HM Bullingdon

·         In September 2023 the OIEP worked with partners to deliver an in-prison open day for employers at HM Bullingdon Prison with a chance for them to see the training centre, workshops and employment hub as well as meet people who are in the last 12 weeks of their sentence.


Future events

The OIEP is planning further events to engage HR leads to support them in developing inclusive employment practices, including an event about supporting refugees into employment.


Building the OIEP’s profile and supporting knowledge sharing

New website for the OIEP

·         As well as establishing a brand and digital presence to support the OIEP, the partnership’s communications co-ordinator has commissioned development of a new website, due to launch Oct 23. This will:

o   Generate Charter sign-ups through a simple, intuitive user journey.

o   Provide a searchable, organized library of useful resources for organisations. working towards inclusive economy goals, including toolkits and case studies.

o   Amplify the partnership’s work in Oxfordshire and the benefits of an inclusive economy.

o   Showcase the work of our Charter pledgers towards building a more inclusive economy in the County.

o   Collect newsletter sign ups to grow the OIEP’s profile and keep stakeholders informed about progress.


Developing strategy and impact measurement

To achieve its ambitious vision, the OIEP has built a longer term strategy and also engages with broader local and national strategy development.


OIEP Strategy 2023-6 and Delivery Plan 2023-4

The OIEP has worked with its partners and stakeholders to build an ambitious and achievable future work programme.


·         In December 2022, the OIEP’s steering group agreed on proposals presented by our educational attainment, employment and social value and procurement working groups for projects that they will focus on over the next 12 months to contribute to the delivery of our vision.


·         These proposals have been developed into the OIEP Delivery Plan 2023-24 which sets out the objectives for each of the working groups.


·         The ambition of the OIEP goes beyond these proposals and to deliver our vision will require a long-term focus on the key areas identified by the working groups. We have drafted an OIEP Strategy 2023-26 which sets out the partnerships long-term vision and a route to reaching our goals and objectives[BC4] 


Supporting local and national strategy development

The OIEP engages with local and national strategy development in areas like economic development and healthy place shaping to advocate for alignment with the partnership’s aims. Current examples include:


·         Contributing to the development of Oxfordshire’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

·         Working with health partners to highlight the crossover of the work of the OIEP tackling health inequalities, and identifying opportunities to link up through the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.


Impact measurement

·         The place based working group will be working with OIEP partners to develop a logic model for OIEP, which is a tool to graphically represent how an initiative or intervention works to achieve its intended outcomes.


About the OIEP


In March 2021, a range of partners drawn from Oxfordshire’s public, private, voluntary and community sectors came together to collaborate on launching the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership. The partnership was formed following a set of recommendations and actions from a series of workshops and seminars in 2019/20looking at the state of the inclusive economy in Oxfordshire.  


An OIEP Manager started in post in September 2022, funded by the Future Oxfordshire Partnership (FOP) for 2 years.  The role of the OIEP Manager is to provide strategic and secretariat support working with partners to develop and deliver a long-term programme of activity which will achieve the vision of the OIEP, as well as supporting the FOP in delivering the nine outcomes of its Strategic Vision.



Structure and governance

The OIEP sits under the umbrella of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and is governed by a Steering Group which is co-chaired by Baroness Jan Royall and Jeremy Long.  The core functions of the Steering Group are:


§  Strategic oversight and coordination - agree longer term inclusive economy aims and a rolling programme of work (1-3 years). Ensure projects and activities are joined up and avoid duplication.

§  Prioritise – continually review and evaluate activities in the wider political and economic context to ensure effort is best placed.

§  Evaluate – develop measures of success to monitor the county’s progress towards an inclusive economy.

§  Support – provide advice and feedback to inclusive economy Working Groups and look to add value wherever possible. 

§  Accountability – ensure written steering group meeting notes are made publicly available and where required report to other stakeholders such as the Future Oxfordshire Partnership.

§  Collaborate – share learning and information across partners.

§  Engage – look for opportunities to communicate and engage with the community to inform current and future priorities of the OIEP

§  Promote the OIEP’s aims and ways in which organisations and individuals can make a difference.





Logos of OIEP charter signatories: Freeths, Somerville College, The Oxford Artisan Distillery, and Blenheim palaceOur Charter pledgers (as of Sep 2023)

Logos of pledgers - including Aspire Oxfordshire; Beard construction; Ethical Property; Magdalen College School; ODS; Oxford Science Enterprises; The Archway Foundation; Flexicare.

Activate Learning incorporating “City of Oxford College” and “Banbury and Bicester College”
Aspire Oxfordshire
Beard Construction
Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Estate
Cherwell District Council
Community First Oxfordshire
Ellison Oxford Limited
Emmaus Oxford
Flexicare (Oxford & Abingdon)
Freeths LLP
Jennings of Garsington Ltd
Jessop and Cook Architects Ltd
Learn with Cognitive Analytic Therapy Oxfordshire Ltd
Magdalen College School
Mental Health Natters
Mills & Reeve
Old Fire Station

Oxentia Ltd
Oxford Human Capital incorporated
Oxford Science Enterprises
Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust
Oxford University Innovation
Oxford Wood Recycling
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire Play Association
West Oxfordshire District Council (Publica Group)
Somerville College, University of Oxford
St John’s College, University of Oxford
The Archway Foundation
The Ethical Property Company PLC
The Oxford Artisan Distillery
Voi Technology




[1] According to the 2019 English Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) Oxfordshire contains 17 (out of 407) LSOAs (Lower-layer Super Output Areas) within the 2 most deprived IMD deciles – deciles 1 and 2.

[2] Oxfordshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment – Oxfordshire’s 10 most deprived wards – January 2023

[3] Cities Outlook 2022 | Centre for Cities

 [BC1]Add Oxford Civic Society to all working groups

 [DA2]Actually it was £18k per year for those two years.

 [DA3]I don't understand these numbers.  Should it read 5,600 hours (per year)?

 [BC4]Emma, might be worth attaching this as an appendix?