Yesterday marked the launch of our Employment and Skills Commission report. We held a lively event at Westminster Kingsway College, kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, where John Allan, the Chair of the Commission shared thoughts on the report’s findings. We also heard from two young apprentices, who impressed the audience with witty and intelligent anecdotes whilst stressing the importance and benefits of businesses getting behind apprenticeship schemes. The Deputy Mayor for Regeneration, Planning and Skills Jules Pipe CBE joined the panel, championing the report and committed to working with business.

London First’s Employment and Skills Commission is made up of business leaders including the Chairman of Tesco and the CEO of Heathrow. Here is the Skills Action Plan for London as covered in The Telegraph and City AM.

76% of London’s businesses are already struggling to find candidates with the right skills and left unchecked, the changing external context of Brexit and the automation trend could lead to London’s skills challenge becoming even more acute.

Making sure our skills system is ready to meet these changes is vital to keeping our capital, and the whole of the UK competitive. Our members have identified this as one of their top priorities.

Our key recommendations are to:

  • prepare London for the new labour market – business, education providers and government must work together to give Londoners vital transferable skills, and better access to entry-level jobs and apprenticeships;
  • fix apprenticeships to create a compelling offer – businesses need a system that supports, rather than hinders, their endeavours to create more apprenticeships that will deliver the right skills and competencies for the future; and
  • give London the tools to deliver – central government needs to devolve more control over skills funding and policy levers to a London-level business led-decision making model of skills provision, so that we invest in the areas where future jobs will be.

Help us get this action plan heard:

  • Send it to your communications team to distribute through social media and any stakeholder communications using #SkillsFirst
  • Send it to your colleagues
  • Download and share our two-page infographic

How London First will play its part:

Our immediate priority is to make the case to government of how the apprentice levy must be reformed to work for Londoners and London business. We also plan to grow Skills London – the UK’s largest jobs and skills event – by creating an online interactive platform to help learners and parents better access the entry-level training and jobs opportunities that business has to offer; allowing Skills London to connect young people and employers beyond this two-day event.

And we have a longer-term set of ambitions where, working with London businesses, we can make practical interventions to improve the opportunities of Londoners.

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