Skills, Devolution, 157 Group

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Skills for Work, Skills for London

Over the past six months, the 157 Group and its members have been engaging, at a national level, in a number of initiatives aimed at seeking solutions to the challenges ahead in the further education sector. As we developed our thinking and engaged with stakeholders, we realised that our national thinking could provide local solutions as well. Nowhere is this more apparent than in London. As mayoral and Greater London Authority (GLA) elections loom, we wanted to offer our point of view, Skills for Work, Skills for London, as our contribution to the debate in London.

We see important transformational opportunities for the FE sector, in London, coming from initiatives that include the area based reviews, institutes of technology, the apprenticeship levy, new sector based delivery approaches, technical pathways and potential college mergers. As a result, the 157 Group has been exploring ideas and approaches, which are set out in this point of view. However, this point of view should be seen as one element of what will be an ongoing debate, as we recognise that the transformation of the FE sector, in London, has many years to run.

The potential for technical and professional education in London, the potential to build a system that will impact the greatest number of learners, the potential to transform the economy through creating a highly skilled, highly productive workforce, is like nowhere else. And so too are the opportunities for collaboration in a city that has the highest concentration of learners as well as training providers. And it is collaboration that will be key to this success.