“This report is an alarming reminder of the skills shortages we face unless we address major challenges in supporting people of all ages and backgrounds into further education and training."
Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report on developing workforce skills, which highlight concerns in declining participation in further education and skills training among disadvantaged groups and the multiplicity of government skills programmes, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:
“This report is an alarming reminder of the skills shortages we face unless we address major challenges in supporting people of all ages and backgrounds into further education and training.
“We need to move away from a top-down, centralised approach to skills, with employment support 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.
“Given the right powers and resources, local government can help build a workforce fit for the future 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
The LGA’s 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.