Realising Talent: A new framework for devolved employment and skills

Year of Publication: 

The Local Government Association has published Realising Talent: a new framework for devolved employment and skills. It is the final report in a collaborative series with the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion. It recommends options for the devolution of employment and skills, which LGA believes can be practicably implemented by a new or returning Government.

The recommendations recognise all councils believe much more can be done locally to reduce unemployment, and more effectively match local skills supply with current and future employer demand. It sets out a minimum expectation to improve services for all areas, and creates the space for those who have already made great strides in devolved powers, to go further. It calls for: ·

  • The introduction of Local Labour Market Agreements by 2016/17 – to be the basis of a deal between groups of councils and central government on what is needed to get more people into work, help low paid people progress in work, and address the skills demand for achieving local growth. ·
  • A shift in national focus to help the most disadvantaged by replacing the £620 million Work Programme with two new programmes, and devolving it – one to deal with long-term Jobseeker Allowance claimants and the other designed for disadvantaged claimants. The second programme would include Work Choice and Access to Work. ·
  • Devolving skills funding and commissioning for all ages - so local areas can better gear the skills system to the needs of businesses and integrate including devolving the £2 billion a year Adult Skills Budget to all local areas. ·
  • Devolution of post 16 learning, and a new Youth offer for all 14 to 21 (or 24) year olds to access independent careers and employment advice, and for every young person not learning or earning, support into training, an apprenticeship, or sustained employment. ·
  • Jobcentre Plus’ Support Contracts and Flexible Support Fund to be co-commissioned with councils to improve job brokerage and help workless people find, and progress in employment, and significantly increasing co-location of existing JCP services with other local services. ·
  • A National Employment and Skills Partnership - to bring together central and local government, businesses, voluntary sector and other stakeholders to drive devolved and integrated funding and services to put people and places first, rather than institutions.