William Eichler 16 January 2020

Council chiefs call for devolution of skills funding

Council chiefs call for devolution of skills funding  image

Six million people in England risk being without a job or in work they are over-qualified for by 2030, council chiefs have warned.

A new report commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) found that by 2030 there could be 5.1 million low-skilled people chasing 2 million low-skilled jobs.

It also estimates there could be 12.7 million people with intermediate skills chasing 9.5 million jobs and 17.4 million high-skilled jobs with only 14.8 million high-skilled workers.

Written by the Learning and Work Institute (L&W), the report estimates that not meeting the skills needs of employers could lead to a potential loss of £120bn in economic output by the end of the decade.

Under the current skills and employment system, £10.5bn a year is spent by eight Government departments or agencies across 20 different national schemes.

The LGA warns this is creating a ‘confusing, fragmented, untargeted and ineffective system’ and argues that councils are better placed to tackle the skills gaps.

‘Councils are ideally placed to lead efforts to help the Government bring growth and jobs to all parts of the country and ensure everyone is fully equipped with the skills they need to compete for future jobs,’ said Cllr Kevin Bentley, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board.

‘For that to happen, our complex and fragmented national skills system needs to adapt to a changing jobs market.

‘Better local coordination of services would provide better opportunities for young people to increase their skill levels and adults retrain and upskill for future jobs. This is key to driving up productivity, closing local skills gaps and boosting local economies.’

‘Other countries have continued to invest in skills, while progress in England has stalled over the last decade, the result of large cuts in England’s adult education budget which has left us lagging behind other countries and the number of adults improving their skills at a record low,’ said Stephen Evans, chief executive of the Learning and Work Institute.

‘We now need a decade of investment, in order to boost life chances, economic prosperity and to level up the country.

‘That investment needs to be delivered through a partnership between national and local government, employers and trade unions. The cost of inaction is large and growing: it is time for action and investment in lifelong learning.’

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Commercial Customer Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 to £43,857
Are you someone who is innovative and has the drive to increase revenue for the Council whilst ensuring excellent service provision to our customers? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Social Care Lead Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£35,745 - £40,876 pro rata per annum
A vacancy has become available for a part time Social Care Lead Officer, to cover in... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£47,845 - £50,900 per annum
To apply for this role please upload your most recent CV that sets out your relevant experience against the job description. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Career Grade Planning Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27978 - £37722 per annum + n/a
Career Grade Planning Officer - West Area and East Area Team The Royal Borough of Greenwich continues to faces an unprecedented growth agenda in terms England, London
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highway Engineer - Reactive Maintenance

Bracknell Forest Borough Council
£35,354 - £40,506 incl. LWA, plus £963 car allowance
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our highway infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recuriter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue