Devolve funding to get more young people into work

The Local Government Association has claimed that councils can get more young people into work, education and training if they are given greater powers over the national skills and employment system.

New figures show that the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the UK has risen by almost 30,000 over the last three months, reaching 792,000 numbers.

Council leaders say that devolved powers and funding are necessary to get more young people and disadvantaged jobseekers into education, employment or training. This means giving councils and local partners the power to deliver their own apprenticeship offer, local careers advice and guidance, as well as more support for schools to assist with post-16 pathways.

The LGA stresses that the Spending Round could be used to devolve sufficient funding to co-ordinate and commission support for all young people, including those at risk of, or who are not in education, employment or training, therefore enabling councils to deliver skills provision locally and ensure every young person can realise their full potential, the needs of employers are met and economic growth boosted.

Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “With more than 790,000 young people not in education, employment or training it is vital that more young people have the opportunities to increase their skills and retrain, so we can drive up productivity and start to close local skills gaps. Behind every number is a young person failing to realise their full potential. By devolving careers advice and post-16 skills budgets and powers to local areas, councils can work with schools, colleges and employers to improve provision for young people so that they can get on in life.”

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