Mayor invests millions into supporting further education and skills

Monday September 16th, 2019

London calls on Government for more devolution as Mayor invests millions into supporting further education and skills.Sadiq Khan

  • Mayor joined by borough and business leaders to call for further devolution of funding and powers as he celebrates City Lit’s centenary.
  • Sadiq announces new £6.4m Skills for Londoners Innovation Fund.
  • Taking control of London’s share of the Adult Education Budget, Sadiq is investing in tackling inequality and exclusion.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and London Councils have today called on Government to devolve more powers and funding for skills and employment to City Hall and London boroughs, as Sadiq announced a new £6.4m fund to help Londoners access learning.

As Brexit approaches and technology continues to advance, London needs to be able to respond to changing skills requirements and possible additional controls on immigration, particularly in sectors including construction and health and social care which are already facing skills shortages.

In a document sent by the Mayor and London Councils to Ministers today and endorsed by business leaders across the capital and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Sadiq and Cllr Georgia Gould, Deputy Chair of London Councils and executive member for Skills and Employment, outline 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.

Celebrating 100 years of adult learning at City Lit’s centenary today, the Mayor visited the Institute’s new gallery, part of a project being delivered with £480,000 from his Skills for Londoners Capital Fund to create a Design and Digital Hub and gallery space to display students’ work. City Lit estimates that since 1919 it has supported more than a million adults in learning a new skill or following a passion.

He announced a new £6.4m Skills for Londoners Innovation Fund, helping Londoners gain skills in areas such as English, maths and digital, and enabling more disabled Londoners and those who are vulnerable to serious youth violence to access learning

Sadiq’s call builds on the changes he has already made after successfully lobbying Ministers for control of London’s share of the Adult Education Budget. These include helping to tackle in-work poverty and exclusion by funding courses for adults earning below the London Living Wage, and funding deaf Londoners to study for a first qualification in British Sign Language.

Under arrangements inherited from the Government, around £14 million a year is being granted to skills providers based more than 30 miles from central London, with around £3 million spent in management fees sub-contracting back to providers in the capital. Sadiq announced today he is taking action to bring that money back into London, and from 2021 will only allocate grants to providers in the capital or within reasonable travel distances for learners.

The Mayor also announced additional new funding across his skills work:

  • An additional £1.6 m funding for the Mayor’s Construction Academy, launched last year to address skills shortages in the housebuilding sector.
  • £3.75m for a new round of his Small Projects and Equipment Fund, supporting small projects that deliver inspiring learning environments, from community kitchens to virtual learning spaces.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, 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.”

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