Skills devolution: Give regions more for Covid recovery

The government must devolve more skills funding or risk levelling down the chances of millions, says City and Guilds
2nd November 2020, 12:01am

Share

Skills devolution: Give regions more for Covid recovery

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/skills-devolution-give-regions-more-covid-recovery
Skills Devolution: Devolve More Skills & Training Funding, Says City & Guilds

The government must devolve more funding to regional areas for skills and employment or risk levelling down the chances of millions, the City and Guilds Group has said. 

In a new report published this morning, the City and Guilds Group says that increased devolution is the only way to coherently address the differing priorities and challenges being faced owing to Covid-19. 

The research finds that 12.4 per cent of the UK's workforce are employed in occupations that are at high risk of automation, with the North East being particularly vulnerable, where 50 per cent or more of tasks are categorised as "highly automatable".

The report warns that the "skills deficit continues to fuel concern across regional economies" - it finds that less than half (40 per cent) the UK's population have achieved a level 4 and above qualification and almost one in 10 (9.5 per cent) have no formal educational qualifications at all. 


Andy Burnham: 'Now is the time to devolve skills policy'

Covid-19 recovery: Devolve authority for FE and skills

Meet Kirstie Donnelly: leading FE's digital revolution


Kirstie Donnelly, chief executive of City and Guilds Group, said that a "one size fits all'' approach would not successfully support people back into jobs. 

She said: "The challenges and solutions were often different in each area and mayoral teams felt that they were not always enabled to act quickly and effectively enough with local solutions.  

"In addition, much of the announced government skills support is simply happening too late - we need urgent action and the immediate release of earmarked skills funding to help people retrain and reskill into new jobs. 

"As we look to building a much-needed post-Covid-19 recovery, we need to champion locally led solutions via a national network of employment and training hubs. These localised and digitally enabled hubs would provide a 'shop window for skills', making employment pathways more visible and accessible, and ultimately provide a platform which brings together local jobseekers, employers and training opportunities."

A series of solutions

Together with the mayoral combined authorities and businesses, the City and Guilds Group has compiled a "series of solutions" to help bolster individual cities and regions. These include:

  • More autonomy over skills funding to deal with local skills and employment challenges.
    The government must devolve more skills funding to the regions, specifically to mayoral combined authorities (MCAs) and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). They would ultimately be the ones responsible for administering the funding in a more targeted and effective way specific to the business profile in their region.
  • Taking learning to the people.
    The government must be more flexible about where people learn, be it digitally or in locations which are more practical and accessible. 
  • Creation of employment and training hubs in areas of high unemployment. 
    A one-stop skills and jobs matching service for adults seeking employment, or for those in employment who might need to or want to upskill or retrain.
  • Opening up funding to include any type of skills-based learning that leads towards a job.
    A more effective reallocation of government funding to ensure more adults have access to adult training allowance loans to meet employer and labour market demand.

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters