Making Skills Devolution Work

5 November 2014

A package of solutions to tackle the current employment and skills challenges – ageing workforce, skills gaps, low productivity, and youth and adult unemployment – has been launched by NIACE today.

The 2015 Localism Prospectus, which draws upon NIACE’s proven market capability in employer partnerships, skills, employment support and social inclusion across the entire post-16 landscape in employment, learning and skills, provides a support package to help build a better future for the employment and skills system and the people it serves in local areas across the country.

Launching the 2015 Localism Prospectus, David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said: 

“Over the next 10 years there will be around 13.5 million job vacancies, but only 7 million new entrants to the labour market. Already employers across the country are reporting major skills gaps and skills shortages and productivity is lower now than before the recession. These are true barriers to sustained and fair economic growth. The solutions are complex, but we know that people need more and better support to participate successfully in the labour market and to have the skills needed to be able to stay productive and active in work into their 60s and even 70s. 

“Local Enterprise Partnerships, Combined Authorities and Councils have a unique opportunity – working in partnership with employers and training providers – to join together support services to make a real impact on economic and social growth. 

“We are responding to what LEPs, local employers and Combined Authorities have asked for in setting out this prospectus. We understand the challenges being faced and have experience and expertise in developing collaborative work with public and voluntary sector partners, businesses and employers. The devolution and localism debates are exciting opportunities for more flexible and responsive employment and skills services and we want to help create them.”

Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Wakefield Council and Skills Lead for the Leeds City Region LEP, said:

“I am delighted to support the launch of the NIACE Localism Prospectus. The adult skills crisis facing local economic recovery is a critical issue for all LEPs and Combined Authorities to tackle. We are working hard on this agenda in the Leeds City Region as an all-ages approach to skills reform is essential. I am pleased to see local government has a reliable partner in NIACE to support us tackling these challenges into 2015 and beyond.”

The NIACE 2015 Localism Prospectus offers a unique support package, scalable to suit different LEP areas, demographics and geographies. NIACE has widespread experience of working with LEPs and Combined Authority areas. This includes providing support to develop strategies and partnership work in a number of significant national programmes. With a distinctive membership base, proven ability in building difficult partnerships in the employment and skills arena and a respected track record in applied R&D across LEPs and the national  policy landscape means NIACE is in a unique position to offer support in a range of programmes. These include:

  • Employability, pathways to work, and local work programme support
  • European Social Fund
  • The Mid-Life career review programme
  • Learning and skills market development
  • College and employer engagement
  • Sector skills interventions
  • Labour market intelligence and analytics
  • Informal routes to learning and skills.