Source: Mayor of London
£10m fund for skills training for sectors vital to London’s recovery
£14.9m increase for essential skills including numeracy and literacy
‘More important than ever’ to support London’s skills sector
A £25 million investment in training has been announced today by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to help thousands of Londoners into jobs identified as crucial to the capital’s economic recovery from Covid-19.
The Mayor has launched the £10 million Adult Education Recovery Fund for education and training providers to help Londoners gain new skills and retrain.
The funding – which will come from the devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) – is targeted at areas such as digital, health, social care, the environment, and creative and cultural industries – all of which have been identified by Sadiq and his employment and training partners as important in London’s economic recovery.
Sadiq also announced he will increase funding for basic and essential skills qualifications up to and including level 2 – equivalent to a GCSE – by 10 per cent, an increase of up to £14.9 million. This training includes numeracy and literacy and will help ensure Londoners with no or few qualifications gain skills and the support they need to find work (1).
Analysis published by the Mayor earlier this week showed London’s economic output is set to fall by £44 billion this year – and that the pandemic could result in the largest fall in employment in more than 20 years with the loss of a further 350,000 jobs in 2021, even with the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine.
This is the latest part of a wider package of support for the capital’s skills sector. This includes the Covid-19 Response Fund, supporting providers which receive AEB funding to expand their online courses and help staff reach learners at risk of digital exclusion.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s economy is reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the deepest recession for a century. Significant numbers of Londoners will be out of work in the coming months, largely those on low wages – many of whom are younger and often from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
“Doing nothing is simply not an option. That is why, as part of my efforts to help London’s recovery, I’m determined to support Londoners to retrain, upskill and find new jobs. I want to do all I can to prevent as many people as possible from suffering like they did in the deep recessions of the 1980s and 90s.
“With this extra boost in funding, London’s fantastic skills providers will be able to deliver more high-quality training to Londoners, helping drive the city’s recovery.
“Working together, we can make sure Londoners hit hardest by the economic impact of the pandemic have the help they need to secure a better future for themselves and their families.”
Association of Colleges’ Area Director (London), Mary Vine-Morris, said: “This new investment from the Mayor is an important statement of his continued commitment to further education and to the skills-led recovery we need to get the capital moving again. The increased funding for provision for those with no or low level qualifications is a welcome first step in addressing the decade of under funding for adult learners.
The consequences of the pandemic are hitting people in the capital hard, with many needing support to access training and new skills to help them find secure employment. It’s crucial these opportunities are open to all, so no matter background or circumstance, everybody who needs a learning opportunity in the coming months must be able to access one and get the extra help they need to be successful.
Progression into good jobs and into emerging sectors will be the critical lifeline for many to avoid poverty and to face the future with greater confidence. Colleges are ready and willing to play their part in the capital’s recovery and rebuild but increased, stable investment is the only way to enable them to support Londoners and London employers to get back on their feet.”
Vice-chair of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and COO of Estio Training, Nichola Hay, said: “The need for more Londoners to retrain or gain new skills has grown as the pandemic has gone on and the Mayor is absolutely right to invite new funding bids from training providers and colleges who are best placed to deliver the training required across the capital’s key sectors.
“The funding increase for essential skills qualifications up to and including level 2 is especially welcome because the importance of these qualifications is not always recognised at a national level and this underlines the case for the devolved regions, including London, to bring forward their own solutions to solve skills shortages.”