Agenda item

Employment, Skills & Economic Growth


Dave Simmonds, Chief Executive of Inclusion, spoke to the Board about the early findings of his research report. He acknowledged that Hidden Talents has been a very effective campaign and that it is now time to consider adults as well. The report looks at the skills gap that will be opening up unless action is taken to devolve national employment and skills provision so it can better support local residents. By 2022 the forecast is that the average qualification level will need to be 3 A levels and that there will be a surplus of 5.5 million low-skilled people and 2.5 million medium-skilled people. This places £375 billion of output at risk.


In order to face these challenges, we need to look at upskilling the workforce and concentrate on adults who are welfare dependent. The majority of these are on Employment Support Allowance. This requires integration of employment support, skills, and health, and this can only be undertaken at a local level.


Members discussed the following issues and made the following points:

·         Need for continuity and long-term planning in this area.

·         Difficulty of safeguarding jobs with an ageing workforce.

·         Integration needs to be a key feature in our lobbying case

·         Need to make the case more forcefully for devolution.

·         The need to argue that skills should be treated as infrastructure.

·         The need to engage more with educational providers.

·         Consider specific arrangements for London in future work.


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