We consistently hear from businesses about the difficulties of navigating a fragmented, complex system of skills and employment support services. It is hard to know who to turn to for information.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader Leeds City Council; Core Cities Cabinet Member, Skills and Employment
A centralised model run from Whitehall is inevitably a one-size fits all solution. If we are to maximise regional growth we need the flexibility to work with employers to respond to local challenges and opportunities.
We have already proved that where we have the freedom, power and resources to determine local solutions to the big challenges facing our communities, we can deliver more effective solutions than Whitehall alone. We also recognise that enabling our regions to thrive economically will be key to rebalancing the national economy and delivering long-term sustainable growth.
This is why we are asking Government to endorse our five year Skills and Labour Market Agreements. These agreements will see provision for skills and employment services devolved to local functioning economic areas, our cities and city regions. Here, local economic partnerships will be able to maximise the benefits of secure, long term budgets to provide effective support services tailored to local labour markets.
A local contact to turn to. A longer term strategy to work with. An agreement that works with businesses.
Fulfilling our economic potential will rely upon us having the essential skills our labour market needs. Only by freeing local areas to establish their own provision will we get a more responsive skills and employment system that will allow us to achieve that ambition. Doing so will be good for jobs and good for businesses.
We hope that business will back us by supporting Skills and Labour Market Agreements, and by working with us to build a framework which generates growth and jobs in our city regions.