Government should devolve more adult education funding

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged the government to commit to devolving further adult education funding to the capital, to help retrain and reskill Londoners in the wake of the economic upheaval caused by coronavirus.

The calls comes following City Hall analysis showing that London’s adult education funding has been halved since the global financial crisis of 2008. Khan is calling for London’s AEB to be restored to 2008 levels – up to £640 million.

The government devolved £306 million in Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding to London – which funds education and training for Londoners aged 19 and above – for 2019/20, rising to £332 million by 2020/21.

Khan believes that thhe increase in the Adult Education Budget must come alongside a wider devolution package where the Mayor and London boroughs can bring together skills, employment and careers advice in an integrated way for Londoners affected by the pandemic.

The Mayor of London has also revealed which skills providers have been awarded a share of his £10.3 million Covid-19 Emergency Recovery Support Fund (ERSF) to help them through the challenges of the pandemic. A total of 91 providers, across all 33 London boroughs, have each been allocated between £25,000 and £200,000 for measures to create Covid-secure facilities and ensure learners can access courses remotely – such as installing Perspex screens, buying thermal scanners, refitting reception areas and providing learners with laptops or tablets.

Khan, said: “London’s dynamic skills sector has a huge role to play in helping many thousands of Londoners retrain and get new jobs amidst the terrible economic and social disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. London’s Adult Education Budget has halved since the 2008 recession – now is the moment for the government to reverse that damage and devolve more adult education funding to our city to support our recovery.”