“Councils are uniquely placed to ensure communities benefit from the skills our country needs and maximise the opportunities of improving our skills and employment system."
Responding to the Queen’s Speech, in which the Government committed to investing £3 billion into a new National Skills Fund over the course of Parliament, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:
“Councils are uniquely placed to ensure communities benefit from the skills our country needs and maximise the opportunities of improving our skills and employment system.
“Our exit from the EU, digitalisation and the gig economy will transform our economy, especially across sectors such as construction and social care.
“A reformed and devolved skills and employment system that matches skills supply with employer demand, and provides opportunities and clear pathways to help people retrain and upskill for jobs would drive up productivity.
“Alongside The National Retraining Scheme, the Apprenticeship Levy and the introduction of T Levels, our priority is to ensure that the National Skills Fund is joined up on the ground. Councils are the natural partners of government, and know how to make sure we can get the best out of our skills system.
“The LGA’s case for skills and employment devolution, Work Local, offers a ready solution to deliver this. By bringing together reformed careers advice and guidance, employment, skills, apprenticeships and business support for young people, adults and employers, a medium-sized Combined Authority could see 8,500 people off of benefits, an additional 6,000 people improving their skills and a £280 million boost each year to the local economy.”