A wide ranging set of proposals designed to tackle London’s growing skills crisis are included in a major report published today. The ‘Delivering Skills for London; pathways to employmentreport highlights the urgent need for increased investment in post 16 vocational education and training and improved collaboration between employers, local authorities and colleges at local and regional levels to address both employers’ current and future skills needs and employment needs of residents.

The report’s proposals are the result of a recent conference jointly hosted by east London-based charity the Learning Revolution Trust, the ‘Local London’ sub-regional partnership, and the employer organisation London First. It brought together leading employers, eight local authorities and education providers from the school, FE and HE sectors.

The trust’s chairman, Martin Cumella, who also chaired the conference said that the report demonstrated the need for a new approach; Despite the critical role that vocational education plays in ensuring the economic health of London it has been undervalued in the past and bedevilled by often inappropriate ‘top down’ solutions on the part of Central Government. The government is now proposing to devolve some skills budgets to regional level and we want to develop a new model in which employers, local authorities and training providers can work together to develop solutions which are rooted in local needs’

Commenting on the report Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking & Dagenham Council, who chaired the East sub-regional area review into skills, said: The Delivering Skills for London conference and resulting report illustrates the commitment from all key stakeholders to come together in order to shape the skills vision for the Local London sub-region as well as our contribution to the wider London area.

“Having chaired the Area Review process it gives me great pleasure to see that we have built on the collaborative approach we developed and continued this in order to drive the skills agenda. The report sets out some actions which we will commit to seeing delivered and will use as the basis for further work. Local London is an area that has great potential and we are all committed to ensuring that our residents have the right skills and can access jobs available now and in future, and that employers have access to a workforce with the right skills. “

Angus Knowles-Cutler, Vice Chair and Senior Partner for Deloitte London, and deputy chair and business lead on the LEAP, said: “It is clear that a lot is changing in the London economy and its jobs market. The impact of technology, automation and Brexit are all likely to be significant. This is the time for London's employers, political leaders and educators to redouble their efforts together. These forces of change should mean a wide range of good new jobs for Londoners, but they will  need the skills, motivation and agility to seize the opportunity.”

The report’s sponsors see the report as only the beginning of a process and are committed to working together to implement many of the proposals in the report.

About Local London: A sub-regional partnership of eight east London boroughs who are working together to call for greater powers for London and its sub-regions for the benefit of local residents and economic growth. It is made up of the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest

About London First: Representing the capital’s leading employers in key sectors such as financial and business services, property, transport, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Its membership also includes higher education institutions and further education colleges.

About The Learning Revolution Trust: A charity focussed on making further education accessible to all young people in east London, no matter what their background or family circumstances. Established by Newham College of Further Education, The Learning Revolution Trust supports disadvantaged students in east London by removing the financial and social barriers to education. In this way, it is creating a culture of ambition, opportunity and learning.

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