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MAYOR WILL LEAD SKILLS STRATEGY FOR LONDON

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The mayor of London will lead a new skills and employment board to drive forward London's continuing economic growt...
The mayor of London will lead a new skills and employment board to drive forward London's continuing economic growth.

As part of the new package of powers announced by local government secretary Ruth Kelly today, the mayor will be given a statutory duty to promote adult skills in London.

DEVOLUTION AGENDA PUSHED FORWARD WITH NEW POWERS FOR LONDON

The new board, including top London business leaders and representatives of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for London and Jobcentre Plus will help equip Londoners with the skills that best meet employers' needs.

It will create a statutory adult skills strategy and annual plan to challenge employers to raise their engagement and investment and ensure adult skills spending is targeted on London's priorities.

Day to day delivery of London's skills strategy will be coordinated by the LSC.

Education secretary Alan Johnson said:

'London is a world class city that needs world class skills. And employers need to be at the centre of providing the right skills for our economy. Our Further Education White Paper outlined a greater role for business in shaping training and guidance for colleges.

'We are delighted that the Mayor is helping to make this happen in London and are confident that he will be a powerful champion for skills and will be able to use his influence to involve more employers in the delivery of skills for the Capital.'

The announcement follows the government's consultation on additional powers for the Greater London Authority launched by David Miliband, secretary of state at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in November 2005. Appointments to the board and an implementation group will be announced in the autumn.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said:

'I welcome the government's commitment to establish the Skills and Employment Board for London which provides us with a great opportunity to work with business, employers and trainers to ensure all Londoners can contribute to and benefit from London's economic prosperity.'

Chair of the LSC, Chris Banks said:

'This is a great opportunity for London and the LSC welcomes the creation of the new Board and the Mayor's new role as champion for skills in London. We want to see the Mayor's economic strategy for London and the views of employers informing the way skills are planned and delivered in London.

'The focus of the board will be on adult skills. The LSC will work closely with the board, the London boroughs and other key groups to ensure that we meet the needs of Londoners and London employers'.

NOTES

1. Today's proposals are part of a wider announcement on a full Review of GLA powers. The review established a statutory obligation to implement a skills strategy for London.

2. The board will determine the London strategy for Post 19 adult skills, build on and work within the framework of national skills targets, address London's specific needs and drive the spending decisions of the LSC in London.

3. The board will have responsibility for the strategic direction of adult skills in London. Operational and executive issues, and the management of the delivery arrangements for skills, will remain the responsibility of the LSC.

4. The LSC will work closely with Jobcentre Plus and other partners.

The board will ensure a close link between training and employment, particularly to help those without work to gain productive employment.

5. The strategy will focus on training and skills for adults in the labour market and seeking to re-enter the labour market, and on the needs of London employers, large and small. It will make a strong link to jobs, tackling worklessness by ensuring that people without jobs in London are helped through training to gain access to good jobs, and integrating skills with business support.

6. The LSC's annual adult skills budget of approximately£420m per year for London will be separately identified and accounted for by the LSC within in its national budget.

7. Following the government's review of the powers of the Greater London Assembly the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has written to the Mayor and the LSC Chair on their roles on adult skills for the Capital. The letters will be available on http:www.dfes.gov.uk/skillsstrategy

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