London and other parts of the country are experiencing severe skills shortages that could hinder economic growth and leave them vulnerable to the impact of Brexit, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London (APPG for London) will argue at Westminster today.
Catherine West MP, a lead officer for the APPG for London, has secured a Westminster Hall debate to set out how the present skills system is unable to meet the growing demand for skilled employees in various sectors, such as construction, hospitality, social care, health, tech and financial services.
She will also use the debate to make an urgent case to Government for skills devolution to London government – the boroughs and the Mayor – and other major towns and cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, explaining how this is vital to driving business growth and powering the national economy as it faces the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit.
Catherine West MP, secretary of the APPG for London, said:
“I’m asking Government to act now to free our skills system so it truly delivers the education and training employers are looking for. In London we want to respond to the needs of our growing population and dynamic business community but our powers are limited.
“By devolving skills to a local level, Government has an opportunity to create stronger links between schools, colleges and universities and the business community. That will help us to make the most of local talent, drive business growth and deal with the challenges Brexit will bring.”
This Westminster Hall debate follows the publication of the APPG for London’s ‘Bridging the Skills Gap’ report that lists nine recommendations for addressing skills shortages in London. These include devolving all 16-18 skills provision to London; developing an all-age London Careers service; giving London government control over all vocational and capital investments; and a review of the Apprenticeship Levy after 12 months.
The Westminster Hall debate, entitled ‘Skills devolution in England’, will take place on Tuesday 23 January from 9:30. Journalists are welcome to attend. Participants and commentators posting about the debate on Twitter are being invited to use the hashtag #LDNskills.
For more information on the ‘Bridging the Skills Gap’ report, visit https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/our-key-themes/economic-development/adult-skills-0/bridging-skills-gap