Research commissioned by the LGA reveals that the skills gap is worsening. By 2024 there will be more than four million too few high-skilled people to take up available jobs, two million too many with intermediate skills and more than six million too many low-skilled.
- Our employment and skills system is highly fragmented and centralised. £10.5 billion of employment and skills funding is commissioned by eight Whitehall departments or agencies across 20 different national schemes.
- Research commissioned by the LGA reveals that the skills gap is worsening. By 2024 there will be more than four million too few high-skilled people to take up available jobs, two million too many with intermediate skills and more than six million too many low-skilled.
- The result is that our centralised skills system fails to have a meaningful impact on addressing the social and economic challenges which are present across all areas. Failure to address the resulting skills gap puts at risk up to four per cent of future economic growth, or a loss of £90 billion economic output, and the average worker will be £1,176 a year worse off.
- Work Local is the LGA’s positive proposal for change. Led by combined authorities and groups of councils, in partnership with local stakeholders, Work Local areas will plan, commission and have oversight of a joined-up service bringing together advice and guidance, employment, skills, apprenticeship and business support for individuals and employers.
- To help local areas close their skills gap, the Government must ensure the ambitions set out in the 2019 Local Industrial Strategies can be fulfilled with devolved powers and funding, and that Work Local is promoted as a framework for their development.
- The Apprenticeship Levy costs local government as a whole £207 million a year. The 2017 Autumn Budget contained an announcement that the Government will continue to work with employers on how the Levy can be spent so that it works effectively and supports productivity across the country; however, it is imperative that this results in actual changes at a local level.
- To ensure that apprenticeship provision matches the needs of employers and the skills of the population, the Government must use the Apprenticeship Levy review to enable local areas to pool Levy contributions, and loosen restrictions on use of the levy. Importantly, the apprenticeships system should be fully devolved to combined authorities.
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Westminster Hall debate on skills devolution in England, House of Commons, 23 January 2018
Work Local is the LGA's positive vision for an integrated and devolved employment and skills service – bringing together information, advice and guidance alongside the delivery of employment, skills, apprenticeships and wider support for individuals and employers.