The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today launched a major new skills programme, which will offer free training courses to support Londoners into good jobs and help address the growing skills shortage in the capital.
London’s economy is starting to show signs of recovery. The latest labour market statistics reveal that the unemployment rate in London continues to fall from the pandemic peak and is down 1.7 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. Online postings for jobs in London are also back to pre-pandemic levels, however a growing number of businesses are currently unable to find people with the skills they need.
The £44m Mayor’s Academies Programme will coordinate and improve the quality of training in the capital, enabling anyone who is 19 and over and unemployed or in low-income work to access training courses for free at local colleges and adult education providers. This will mean that Londoners can retrain, learn or upskill and seize the new opportunities available on London’s growing job market.
The programme will target priority industries, including green, digital, hospitality, health, social care and the creative and cultural sectors, to help ensure London emerges strongly from the pandemic. It will also work directly with employers in these sectors to build greater workforce diversity, ensuring groups that are underrepresented in London’s labour market are able to access high quality work.
The Mayor has today published his Skills Roadmap for London which outlines his vision for adult learning during this mayoral term to ensure it can better serve Londoners wanting to learn, upskill or change jobs.
Londoners with lower level qualifications have been at greater risk of job losses during the pandemic, and research shows that gaining qualifications makes it more likely to return to or enter employment. Helping Londoners acquire the skills that either allow them to earn more in their current roles, or secure better-paid jobs, is also going to be key to easing the financial pressures felt by many as the cost of living increases.
A major new campaign will launch today across the Transport for London network to raise awareness of the thousands of free adult learning opportunities available in a range of sectors, including the creative, health and social care, green, digital and hospitality industries. Featuring real life stories from Londoners who have benefitted from adult learning, the poster campaign will encourage more Londoners to take advantage of the wide range of training courses now offered by local providers to help them get a new job. The long-term campaign will also expand to target social media content with education providers encouraged to get involved in promoting the campaign on their own channels.
Today the Mayor visited Nexus Studios, an independent production and animation studio in Shoreditch, which supports and champions Londoners who are under-represented in the creative industries to get jobs.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “Many Londoners are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their budgets due to an increase in inflation, energy bills and National Insurance contributions, which are set to go up from April. As Mayor, I won’t sit by while people in our city struggle with the soaring cost of living. That’s why I’m taking action now to help Londoners acquire the skills that either allow them to earn more in their current roles or secure better-paying jobs.
“My new flagship skills programme will offer any Londoner who is 19 or over – and who is unemployed or in a low paid job – the chance to access training for free.
“London’s economy is starting to show signs of recovery, but many businesses are crying out for people with the right skills. This new programme will not only ensure Londoners can gain the skills they need to succeed, but support London’s businesses and our economic recovery.”