Policy solutions: Devo skills: How mayors can deliver skills, jobs and social inclusion

9th May 2017

Library of Birmingham
The Government’s industrial strategy green paper recognised the need for people to access learning opportunities throughout their working lives to help stay on top of technological and economic changes in the labour market around them.  At the same time, six very different areas across England – Cambridge and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, West Midlands, and West of England – are now preparing for the introduction of directly elected mayors from May 2017.  With the devolution of the Adult Education Budget and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, how can Combined Authorities benefit from greater influence over their local adult learning and skills systems and deliver on their new mayors’ manifesto commitments?
Analysis by both Learning and Work and Centre for Cities shows that focusing on employment, low pay, productivity and social inclusion should be a top priority for each of the new mayors taking office in May. Research shows that the challenges differ in each area: in the West Midlands employment is 10% below the national average and is low across all areas of the city region, whereas Greater Manchester has employment inequalities varying from 63% to 79% across its local authorities. Other areas face specific challenges, such as the disability employment gap in Liverpool, and ethnic minority employment in the Tees Valley. All city regions see skills and employment as critical issues to address in the short, medium and long terms. 
L&W and Centre for Cities believe that opportunities for adults to learn new skills and secure high-quality jobs are essential in enabling local areas to deliver the outcomes that incoming mayors want to see, such as attracting more jobs, boosting wages and improving quality of life. But what works in practice? This event will hear from experts in the field about key challenges in combined local authority areas, and showcase initiatives in adult learning and skills which can help respond to them.
To highlight to policy-makers, commissioners and stakeholders in combined authority areas the contribution of adult learning and skills in delivering on mayoral priorities and tackling skills gaps, improving productivity, labour market progression and economic and social inclusion.
Delegates will benefit from:
  • Expert analysis of the key economic and social challenges in a range of combined authority areas
  • A showcase of innovative practice in adult learning and skills provision linked to local economic and social priorities
  • Enhanced understanding of the ways in which different kinds of adult learning contribute to local outcomes

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