Councils need to be at heart of levelling up ambitions

The Local Government Association has said that placing councils at the heart of the government’s levelling up ambitions would help create job and career opportunities where they are most needed.

Council leaders are calling on government to use the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill to introduce a joined up, place-based employment, skills and careers system, that provides access to quality education and new training opportunities. The LGA is also calling for more funding to help adults with lower qualifications improve their skills levels so they fare better in a more competitive labour market post pandemic, getting more people into jobs.

Calls for a greater role for councils to tackle unemployment and skills shortages come as exclusive LGA polling reveals that 58 per cent of MPs and 80 per cent of Peers support more freedom for councils to drive employment and training opportunities in their local communities.

Kevin Bentley, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill should be used as an opportunity to tackle our fragmented employment and skills system, with a greater role for councils and employers to help create jobs and training opportunities in their local communities. It is clear that as the furlough scheme is phased out, there will inevitably be a rise in the number of people out of work or training. People will need to reskill for new jobs as we look to recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.

“Throughout the pandemic, councils have consistently delivered for their communities and businesses, coordinating employment, training and business support for their local areas. Knowing their communities best, they are uniquely placed to bring all partners together to create greater opportunities for those who are unemployed and help achieve our shared ambition with government to level up across the country."

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.