Mayor launches Skills for Londoners to boost training in capital
David McQuade - May 1, 2017

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today launched Skills for Londoners – a new skills agenda for the capital – to ensure that all Londoners have the opportunity to train in the skills that the capital’s economy needs.

  • £114m to be invested in colleges and other providers to enhance post-16 training.
  • Taskforce launched so all Londoners and businesses can realise their full potential.

The Skills for Londoners Capital Fund will invest £114m in high-quality equipment and facilities at London’s further education colleges and other education and training providers.

Sadiq has also established a Skills for Londoners Taskforce comprising business leaders and employers, skills and education experts and London government representatives.

The taskforce will develop a city-wide strategic approach so that Londoners and businesses can access the skills they need for future success.

The Mayor is also proposing to establish a Construction Skills Academy later in the year, in partnership with the housebuilding industry.

This will aim to close the gap between the demand for new housing in the capital and the need for more skilled construction workers.

London has a strong, dynamic, global economy, but the region’s employment rate has lagged behind the national average for three decades.

Employers repeatedly report skills shortage vacancies and skills gaps in their workforce, impacting on growth and productivity.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union, ensuring a more responsive skills system – as well as continued access to global talent – is more important than ever, according to the Mayor, in meeting employers’ needs.

The Skills for Londoners Taskforce, working closely with the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), will take an inclusive approach to post-16 education and skills, focusing primarily on further education and training but also looking at progression pathways from school and into higher education (HE).

It will also ensure that communities across London have access to training, and that from a young age both girls and boys are encouraged to explore the skills they need to make progress in the future economy.

Delivering on a key manifesto commitment, the Mayor officially launched Skills for Londoners today at South Thames College, in Merton, where he joined students who are training to repair motorcycles before seeking employment or setting up their own business.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“I want all Londoners to have the same opportunities I had growing up. Skills for Londoners is the first step towards making that happen.

While London is a great place to learn, there is no doubt that not enough Londoners are getting the skills they need to live up to their potential.

This also impacts businesses, hampering their growth and forcing them to look further afield for talent.

Now that we are leaving the European Union, it is more important than ever that we make sure more Londoners gain access to the skills they and our economy truly need.

The further education and skills sector has a vital role to play in making sure all Londoners can truly be part of London’s prosperity.

Through Skills for Londoners, we will address these problems head-on, giving Londoners the chance to train in the skills that will boost our economy and creating a pipeline of local talent and expertise for our businesses to tap into.”