“As democratically elected leaders and place shapers, local government is the natural partner of central government and is ideally placed to try and ensure that those out of work as a result of the pandemic are supported back into employment as quickly as possible.”
The Government needs to use the Spending Review to devolve careers advice, post-16 and skills budgets and powers to local areas. This would allow councils, schools, colleges and employers to work together to improve provision for young people so that they can get on in life.
“The Government’s ‘one size fits all’ national approach to employment and skills is no longer fit for purpose. Councils and combined authorities – who know their communities best – want to be front and centre in ensuring everyone has the chance to learn new skills and find work, in good jobs needed by local businesses, in the places where they live.”
“With more than 790,000 young people not in education, employment or training it is vital that more young people have the opportunities to increase their skills and retrain, so we can drive up productivity and start to close local skills gaps."
Three Return to Work campaigns – focusing on ICT, planning and legal – will identify and provide skilled professionals with free training or resources, so they can restart their highly-valued roles and support councils with their COVID-19 recovery strategies.
“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."