Further devolution is a step towards NIACE’s new localism proposals

3rd November 2014

The devolution proposals announced by the Chancellor for Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which will give them the “power to re-shape and re-structure the further education provision within Greater Manchester”, are a step towards the new localism NIACE has called for in its Manifesto – Skills for Prosperity.

The new devolved powers would give Greater Manchester Combined Authority control of the Apprenticeship grant for employers (AGE) and enable them to co-commission the next phase of the Work Programme with DWP.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“This is an exciting time in the devolution debate, so I am pleased to see further powers being proposed for Greater Manchester. As we have called for in our Manifesto, there is an urgent need for a new localism – one of six priority actions for the next Government to ensure a sustainable economic recovery that benefits everyone. We are pleased that the Government – and the opposition – are now taking this issue seriously. Devolved employment and skills – and welfare – can deliver better jobs and better in-work progression resulting in a skills-led sustainable and inclusive local economy.

Our work in both Dorset and the Humber, for instance, shows how we can match the skills needs of the STEM industry, with major employers working with NIACE and local FE colleges to offer greater work experience, traineeships as well as real jobs and Apprenticeships. Our experience of the employment and skills systems offers a great wealth of expertise in how localism can benefit local people and the local economy.”

Legislation will enable an election to take place in 2017 and details of devolution of powers to other major cities are expected in the Autumn Statement next month.