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LGA launches online tool on local employment and skills programmes

19/11/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Local Government Association has launched an online resource to map national employment and skills provision in every local authority area in England.

Skills and training icons on laptop

Designed in partnership with business research agency Research Matters, the tool identifies almost 50 nationally run employment and skills programmes managed and commissioned by government departments and agencies.

Its key feature is an interactive map that can be used by local authorities to display what provision is available to their local area, and where known, the provider delivering it.

The information is also conveyed through tables and charts, and there are examples of what this means for three local authority areas: Bexley, Preston and Hartlepool.

The LGA said this can help to deal with a key challenge in finding the relevant local resources when there are a lot of schemes available, and no single local organisation responsible for co-ordinating the provision.

It added that it is aiming to help councils maximise employment and skills support and develop a partnership between local and national government to design a system that works for all communities.

The tool identifies 22 nationally contracted programmes and describes a further 27 that are not contracted, with the details being correct to the best of the LGA’s knowledge as of April this year. It describes some individual programmes that are contracted or delivered in multiple ways which will result in multiple providers and arrangements.

The LGA will review the list of national programmes in 2022.

Complex and fragmented

Councillor Kevin Bentley, chair of the LGA’s people and places board, said: “All too often the skills and employment system can be complex and fragmented. This is an important resource which supports local authorities to better understand and navigate employment and skills provision in their local areas.

“We also want it to help improve connections between local and national government on how to collaborate on existing provision within local areas and to plan future provision. Helping our residents retrain and get into work is critical to building back better from the crisis into recovery and levelling up our communities.

“The LGA wants to support councils to make the best of this investment and work with the Government to ensure future provision connects up easily and quickly to support our residents and businesses.”

Image from iStock, Relif

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