Leading businesses, councils and education leaders have come together to tackle the growing skills crisis in East London and increase job opportunities for local residents.

The ‘Delivering Skills for London: Pathways to Employment’ conference brought together key players in East London to talk about how greater collaboration and more powers from government could address the immediate concerns of skills gaps for employers, the changing labour market, employment prospects for local residents and anxiety around the potential impact of Brexit.

Eight East London councils making up the Local London partnership joined a diverse range of global, national and London based businesses and prestigious education institutions, including Deloitte, Heathrow Airport, UK Power Networks, UCL and the London College of Fashion.   

Speaking at the event, Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said: There is a real desire for us all to work together to achieve this and challenge the government to respect the role we all play locally in developing our own solutions for the benefit of our residents.

“We can demonstrate our ability to work from the bottom up to deliver training flexible enough to meet the demands of a dynamic labour market and improve pathways to employment.  By working together we can support employers to realise the huge economic potential of this sub-region and importantly improve employment prospects for our residents.”

Other speakers at the event included Angus Knowles Cutler, Vice Chair and Senior Partner for Deloitte London, Di Gowland, Principal of Newham College of Further Education and Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor of London.

As well as hearing from speakers, delegates attended workshops which covered a range of topics from maximising devolution of skills budgets and functions to London; getting the most out of the apprenticeship levy coming into force in April; the needs and role of employers in shaping and supporting the skills sector; how education providers can work together to deliver clear pathways to employment for young people and adults.

The conference was jointly hosted by Local London, London First and the education charity the Learning Revolution Trust.

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