Sadiq Khan: Extend skills devolution for London

As well as the adult education budget, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wants powers on apprenticeships and post-16 provision

Julia Belgutay

Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and London’s councils have urged the government to devolve further powers, as well as funding for skills and employment, to City Hall and the boroughs of the capital.

In a letter sent by the mayor and London Councils to ministers today – endorsed by business leaders and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) – Mr Khan and councillor Georgia Gould, deputy chair of London Councils, said that by taking charge of more elements of the skills and education system, City Hall and London boroughs could deliver programmes in a more streamlined, impactful way.

The adult education budget was devolved in August, with more than £300 million in allocations already devolved to the capital by the Department for Education.

But this morning, Mr Khan will call for devolution to go further, to include more post-16 and non-levy apprenticeship funds.

Background: £630m in adult education funds handed to mayors

Read more: Devolution will widen skills gap, principal warns

Need to know: What’s in London’s skills strategy?

Accessing learning

This comes as Mr Khan announced a new £6.4 million fund to help Londoners access learning. Attending an event to mark 100 years of adult learning at City Lit, Mr Khan said the fund would help people in the capital gain skills in areas such as English, maths and digital subjects, and enable more disabled Londoners and those who are vulnerable to serious youth violence to access learning.

He said: “London is a global leader in education and skills, and as we approach Brexit, we will need to work with the further education sector to respond quickly to changing skills needs. Our City Hall programmes are already making a huge difference, including to the work of City Lit, whose centenary highlights how empowering learning new skills can be.

“As we take over London’s share of the adult education budget, I’m putting even more money back into the capital and investing in new projects to make sure all Londoners have access to the training and education they need. But more needs to be done, which is why I’m calling on the government for a new funding and devolution deal to make sure we’ve got the powers and resources we need in the face of these challenges.”

‘People-centred systems of support’

Ms Gould said: “London is a city built on the boundless creativity, talent and ambition of the people who live, work and study here. But all too often, Londoners are being held back from unlocking the opportunities generated on their doorsteps by a lack of skills and available training.

“It’s a problem which impacts every area of people’s lives, undermining their wellbeing, trapping them in low pay and stifling career progression. We need to change the way that we approach this challenge by focusing on individuals and creating localised, people-centred systems of support.”

Mark Malcomson, principal and chief executive of City Lit, said: “Today is a landmark moment for City Lit, showcasing 100 years of service to Londoners...Having the mayor outline such a call to action today emphasises the need to establish a culture of lifelong learning in the capital, to make sure London continues to prosper and remains the world-leading, vibrant and welcoming city we have always been.”

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

Latest stories

Geoff Barton

Omicron, nativities and the DfE: Another fine mess

Schools are being told what to do by those with no concept of the reality of running a school - and it's only making an already tough situation a lot harder, explains Geoff Barton
Geoff Barton 3 Dec 2021
New headteachers - here are 9 things you need to know

Headteacher wellbeing and sources of 'streth'

Former headteacher Chris McDermott set out to find out the true causes of leader stress and support – and in doing so coined a whole new term, as he explains here
Chris McDermott 2 Dec 2021
Transdisciplinary learning: how to embed it in your school

Why you need a transdisciplinary curriculum

At the Aspirations Academies, six hours a week are dedicated to applied transdisciplinary learning - but how does it work? And should you apply something similar at your school?
Steve Kenning 2 Dec 2021