The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today launched major new measures to ensure Londoners can get the skills they need to get into good work. This includes key changes to London’s Adult Education Budget (AEB) and £2 million investment which will coordinate skills, careers and employment support and ensure that thousands of Londoners have a secure route into employment and out of poverty.
The cost of living crisis has made it more important than ever that Londoners can get the skills they need to progress into good jobs, earn more in their current roles or secure better paid jobs and help to ease the financial pressures that so many are currently facing.
An additional 400,000 Londoners will be able to access funded training opportunities without having to prove they receive state benefits and the removal of the three-year residency requirement for Londoners on certain immigration schemes will allow Londoners to access support from their first day in the capital. This will lead to a more integrated system as previously, people, including British Nationals returning from overseas, would have to wait for three years before they could access crucial training. £10m is being invested in London’s skills providers, helping address increasing costs faced by the FE workforce and ensuring lower skilled Londoners can continue to get the training they need to progress.
The £2.06m No Wrong Door programme will join up local skills and employment provision, ensuring Londoners can get the right support at the right time to move into good work, no matter their starting point. Delivered in partnership with London boroughs, London Councils and Jobcentre Plus, the programme will strengthen joint working across London to ensure that skills and employment services deliver for Londoners.
£1.38m of this funding is being invested in Integration Hubs across the capital, which will directly support the Londoners who need it most: in particular refugees, women, disabled Londoners, Londoners over 50 and young Londoners.
Today the Mayor visited Ingeus, Central London Forward’s Integration Hub, which is coordinating services to ensure that disabled Londoners, refugees and people seeking asylum can access the right support when they need it. During the visit Sadiq joined an employability support session for Afghan refugees who are joining the Work and Health programme.
The Mayor met Raihana Zaher and Mansoor Salihi. Mansoor attended the programme as a resettled refugee from Afghanistan in 2021 and has now joined Ingeus as a case worker. Raihana is passionate about supporting people to improve their lives and is working for Ingeus to help refugees from Afghanistan who have moved to London as part of the UK’s resettlement scheme.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:
“Many Londoners are struggling as the cost of living continues to rise. There are huge inequalities in the labour market and not enough Londoners have the skills they need to get into good jobs or progress and earn more in their current roles.
“I’m determined to do all I can to ensure that everyone, especially those who need the most support, can access the skills and job training they need to progress in this city.
“It was brilliant to meet some of the Afghan refugees at Ingeus today and I’m glad we can offer such a wide range of fully funded courses and training to people in various stages of their adult education journey.
“This new funding and these changes to the adult education programme will help to ensure that we are building a better London for everyone – a safer, fairer and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities at Hackney Council, said:
“London’s economy is strong, but too many of our residents struggle to access the opportunities available in their city.
“That is partly because the employment and skills system is complex and fragmented. Londoners often struggle to access the support that best meets their needs, and services often don’t work well together.
“The Central London Integration Hub aims to fix that. As part of the wider ‘No Wrong Door programme, it will seek to make the employment and skills system work together more effectively, so disadvantaged Londoners get the help they need, and move into decent work.”
Mary Vine-Morris, Association of College’s London Area Director, said:
“We are two-years on from the start of skills devolution in Greater London and now is a good time to reflect on the how the adult education budget can best be deployed to meet the evolving needs of Londoners.
“We welcome the changes the Mayor has instigated, they are a great indication of how the GLA listen to the concerns colleges express and their ambitions for London’s residents and employers. In particular, the £10 million increase in funding for courses at Level 2 and below will ease some of the financial pressures providers are facing due to rising inflation and help them to continue to support Londoners.
“These latest reforms will help more people, including some of the most disadvantaged in society, access fully funded skills provision and get the training they need to get on in life, thrive in the world of work and boost their skills.”
Raihana Zaher, Employment Support Caseworker at Ingeus said:
“I’ve been working at Ingeus since March 2022 and it’s been great to provide support to newly settled Afghan refugees. I’ve been working with this cohort for around three months now and I’ve already seen them progress. This course is a lifeline to so many people and I’m proud to be part of such a great programme.
Mansoor Salihi, Employment Caseworker at Ingeus said:
“I came to the UK in 2021 and attended this programme when I arrived. I’m proof the programme works and my experience going through the settlement scheme means I can relate to many of the people I support on a daily basis. We get people from all walks of life here and it’s very satisfying helping people get back on their feet and back into work.”
The Mayor of London is providing thousands of adult learning opportunities across the city, with free training for some Londoners. Visit www.london.gov.uk/adult-learning to find out more.
The additional funding and amended requirements to the Adult Education Budget include:
- Allocating an additional £10m to providers as part of an uplift to the weighted funding rate for courses at Level 2 and below of 3.5 per cent. This will enable providers to help address the financial pressures faced by the FE workforce due to rising inflation and help them to continue to deliver support to Londoners with low skills and prior attainment to progress in life and work.
- Removing the three-year residency requirement for Londoners on certain immigration schemes. This will lead to a more integrated and coherent skills and employment system that enables Londoners to access training that can support social integration from their first day settling within the capital. Previously people, including British Nationals returning from overseas, would have to wait for three years before they could access crucial training.
- Funding for Londoners who are unable to evidence state benefits (and who are therefore locked out of funded training). This will enable approximately 400,000 Londoners to access AEB funded training opportunities to help them into good jobs or improve social integration outcomes.
- Funding non-prescribed vocational and technical qualifications at Level 4. This will enable AEB providers to offer clear progression routes from existing provision into skills training that leads to good jobs and/or supports efforts to address skills gaps in priority sectors for London.
- Funding license to practice accreditations as part of skills training packages in construction and hospitality sectors. Specifically, this will fund the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (Labourer) to help people access jobs on construction sites and the Security Industry Authority (SIA) license to increase the number of trained security guards as a boost to the night-time economy.
- Fully funding British Sign Language (BSL) courses for all Londoners in low-paid work or who are unemployed. This expands the existing BSL entitlement support Deaf Londoners pioneered by the GLA.
- Funding Unionlearn Regional Coordinator (ULRC) activity in London following the cessation of Government funding for the Union Learning Fund (ULF). This will support more working Londoners to access learning opportunities through Unionlearn, the TUC’s high performing learning platform