LGA responds to EDSK report calling for more skills devolution

“As this report highlights, we need to move away from a top-down, centralised approach to skills. Employment support should also be devolved to local leaders to get the best value for money from the billions currently spent by government on various disjointed national schemes."


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Responding to an EDSK report which proposes that at least £1.1 billion a year is given to devolved areas of England and local communities to help them tackle skills shortages and drive economic growth, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:

“As this report highlights, we need to move away from a top-down, centralised approach to skills. Employment support should also be devolved to local leaders to get the best value for money from the billions currently spent by government on various disjointed national schemes.

“Every area has its own unique labour market including a mix of jobs, qualification levels, unemployment and vacancies. Councils and combined authorities want to unlock this potential talent, using their unrivalled local insight and knowledge to bring employers, training providers and jobseekers together with their proven track record in delivering more for less. 

“Our own Work Local analysis shows that by using existing investment more effectively – including the devolution of adult skills and more influence on apprenticeships, employment support and 16-19 funding – could lead to a 15 per cent increase in the number of people improving their skills or finding work.

“Given the right powers and resources, local government can help communities get through this cost of living crisis by creating new jobs, offering new training and spreading opportunities to more people, in our shared endeavour to level up the country.”  

Notes to editors

Work Local: benefits of improving employment and skills outcomes

Work Local: Unlocking talent to level up