Laura Sharman 05 July 2017

Councils warn twelve million people will be caught in skills gap by 2024

Councils have called for new powers to deliver skills and employment services, after new research shows twelve million people will be without a job or in work they are over-qualified for by 2024.

The research, for the LGA by the Learning and Work Institute (LWI), reveals that by 2024, there will be a surplus of 6.2 million low-skilled workers and 1.9 million people with intermediate skills.

However, there will also be 4.2 million more high skilled jobs than people qualified to do them.

The LGA warned that a failure to address this growing skills crisis will mean £90bn of economic growth will be lost.

It added that the current centrally-governed skills and employment funding is ‘confusing, fragmented, untargeted and ineffective’.

It is calling on the Government to give groups of councils across England the power and funding to deliver a one-stop ‘Work Local’ service for skills, apprenticeship, employment, careers advice and business support provision within five years.

Cllr Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said: ‘This research paints a worrying vision of the skills gap facing the nation. Without radical reform, swathes of people face a future where they have skills mismatched for jobs, risking them being in low paid, insecure work, and reliant on benefits, at a huge cost to people’s lives and the local and national economy.

‘The current system for getting the unemployed into work is not working for the economy, for employers or individuals. This has to change for the future economic prosperity of this country. Limits on EU migration after Brexit could exacerbate these skills challenges which makes it more important than ever to have a better system in place for retraining and upskilling the current workforce.’

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