LGA: British Chambers of Commerce skills research shows radical reform needed to tackle crisis

“Twelve million people – the combined population of London, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire – will be without a job or in work they are over-qualified for by 2024."


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Responding to research by the British Chambers of Commerce on the shortage of skilled workers, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:

“Twelve million people – the combined population of London, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire – will be without a job or in work they are over-qualified for by 2024.

“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 and increasing their skills levels is not working for the economy, for employers or individuals. This has to change for the future economic prosperity of this country.

“Devolving all back-to-work, skills, apprenticeship, careers advice, and business support schemes and funding to the local areas in which they are used will allow better coordination of services to help people get the skills they need to progress in work, and supply businesses with the right skills at the right time to help local economies grow."

Notes to editors

A maze of centrally-governed skills and employment funding – totalling £10.5 billion a year – run by eight government departments or agencies and scattered across 20 different national schemes – is confusing, fragmented, untargeted and ineffective.  

Recent research for the LGA by the Learning and Work Institute (LWI) reveals that the skills gap by 2024 will result from:

  • 9.2 million low-skilled people chasing 3.1 million low-skilled jobs – a surplus of 6.2 million low-skilled workers;
  • 12.6 million people with intermediate skills chasing 10.7 million jobs – a surplus of 1.9 million people;
  • 16.1 million high skilled jobs with only 11.9 million high-skilled workers – a deficit of 4.2 million.

Failure to address this growing skills crisis will mean the average worker will be £1,176 a year worse off by 2024 while £90 billion of economic growth will be lost.


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