‘Put councils at heart of levelling up’ – LGA

Placing councils at the heart of the Government’s levelling up ambitions would help create job and career opportunities where they are most needed as the nation recovers from the pandemic, the LGA has said. 

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, called 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.

He said: “The 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.

“Councils 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.”

The LGA is also calling for more funding to help adults with lower qualifications improve their skills levels so they can get more people into jobs.

Cllr Bentley added: “The adult education budget has been critical to helping people and should be restored to 2010 levels so councils can provide the best possible support.

“There are undoubtedly challenges ahead but, working together locally across the sector, councils and combined authorities have the passion and expertise to rise to the challenge.”

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.

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