Improving skills provision is a key priority across the central London sub-region, and this has been a key theme throughout 2019, with the launch of our skills strategy for central London, a new programme of work focused on improving skills outcomes in the health and social care sector, and our Employment and Skills Board examining apprenticeship provision within our local authorities, and working on ways to introduce more, higher-quality apprenticeships.
The devolved adult education budget has changed the way London Government thinks about skills, and offers a fantastic opportunity for London to focus our resources and create a modern skills system that supports a fair labour market and works for everyone. As a devolved adult education budget becomes the ‘new normal’, CLF is keen to ensure that we continue to push for a skills system suited to the needs of central London’s diverse residents, employees and businesses.
Part of this work will involve delivering on the recommendations included in our skills strategy, and CLF is working with our borough colleagues, businesses and training providers to turn these into action. But we will also be supporting London Councils and the GLA in pushing for further devolution of skills provision.
Skills for Londoners: A Call for Action sits alongside London’s local industrial strategy (to be published in early 2020), and presents the GLA and London Councils vision for an integrated, properly funded skills and employment system, with input from all four sub-regional partnerships. It outlines three key challenges facing London’s skills and employment system:
In order to address these, the Call for Action pushes for further devolution, including around 16-18 skills, apprenticeships and careers advice. The document sets out a clear role for how boroughs can work alongside the Mayor to improve employment and skills services, and CLF are keen to make sure that this offer becomes a reality, and that our boroughs are front and centre in this work. A successful devolved skills system is one that welcomes the expertise and experience of local councillors and borough officers, in order to build a fair, local and supportive skills system.
Under this new government we will continue to discuss skills devolution at Skills for Londoners Boards, with our borough colleagues, and with Central Government. If you have any thoughts on this topic, please get in touch at Meghan.Meek-O’Connor@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Meghan Meek-O’Connor – 06.01.2020