LGA briefing: debate on apprenticeships and skills policy, House of Commons, 8 January 2019

Research commissioned by the LGA reveals that the skills gap is worsening. By 2024 there will be more than four million too few high-skilled people to take up available jobs, two million too many with intermediate skills and more than six million too many low-skilled.


Key messages

  • In November 2018 the LGA launched its Skills Taskforce, bringing together a range of industry stakeholders, including the FSB and the TUC, to discuss the skills-related challenges we currently face and the solutions needed.
  • The Taskforce, jointly led by Cllr Mark Hawthorne and Sir Richard Leese, has the single objective to develop an approach that will tackle the growing skills gap and the highly fragmented skills and employment system in the UK.
  • In 2016/17, £10.5 billion of employment and skills funding was commissioned by eight Whitehall departments or agencies across 20 different national schemes, with different criteria and eligibility.
  • Despite significant levels of investment, our skills system has failed to have a decisive impact on the varying social and economic challenges and opportunities in local areas, or make a decisive impact on outcomes.
  • Research commissioned by the LGA reveals that the skills gap is worsening. By 2024 there will be more than four million too few high-skilled people to take up available jobs, two million too many with intermediate skills and more than six million too many low-skilled.
  • Failure to address the growing skills gap puts at risk up to four per cent of future economic growth, or a loss of £90 billion economic output, and the average worker could be £1,176 a year worse off.
  • We welcome the range of post-16 skills reforms to address the skills challenge, including a renewed focus on adult re-skilling and upskilling, which the Government has initiated. We look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure local need is reflected in this work.
  • A place-based approach is critically important to ensuring that combined authorities, councils and local partners can plan how their areas will respond to the challenges and opportunities of Brexit and the Government’s Industrial Strategy.