City Hall-funded adult skills training helps thousands of Londoners find jobs

In last year, 81,000 learners got into employment, further study or progressed in work following training funded by the mayor’s adult education budget

City Hall (credit GLA)
City Hall (credit GLA)

More than 80,000 Londoners found jobs or went on to further studies in the last year after taking up skills training funded by City Hall, new data reveals.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hailed the contribution that adult learners make to the capital’s economy, with businesses boosted by extra skills and Londoners improving their lives after benefitting from further training.

Around 20% of businesses in London are said to face challenges finding employees with key skills, including digital skills and essential English and numeracy. City Hall says giving Londoners access to industry-relevant skills is essential to helping businesses and the economy to thrive.

A tightening labour market and growing unemployment, up to an estimated 5% in June, has placed extra importance on skills training.

Since London’s adult education budget was devolved to the mayor in August 2019, City Hall has been responsible for London’s annual £320m budget, funding the majority of further education for Londoners aged 19 and over, excluding apprenticeships. More than one million learners have taken part in skills training since then, helping Londoners improve their lives and giving businesses the skills they need to thrive, including those in sectors key to London’s economy. City Hall funds thousands of courses, from skills needed for green jobs to those needed to secure a role in technology.

The London Learner Survey, now in its second year and the only one of its kind in the country, shows that in the last year a total of 81,000 non-retired learners got into employment, further study or progressed in work following training funded by the mayor’s adult education budget, more than half of these (59%) were from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds; Over a third of learners (34%) were working in the education, healthcare or hospitality sectors; almost all Londoners (94%) participating in City Hall-funded training experienced positive social change as a result of learning, including boosts to their wellbeing and confidence; almost one quarter (24%) of learners out of work were supported into employment; and four-in-ten (39%) of learners in employment experienced progression in work, of which half experienced a pay increase following their course.

Khan said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, it’s vital that Londoners have access to the training they need to develop skills that businesses are crying out for. I’m delighted to see the difference that the capital’s thousands of adult learners are making to the economy and to their own lives, gaining new employment opportunities, pay increases and increased well-being, as well as giving businesses the skills boost they need.

“Whether it be a green job, or one in healthcare or tech, I urge all Londoners to take a look at the huge range of courses available and see where further learning could take them. My annual Adult Learning Awards is always an inspiring occasion to hear about how skills training can change lives, and, with nominations now open, I encourage Londoners to get involved as we continue to build a better, fairer London for everyone.”

Arinola Edeh CBE, principal of Westminster Adult Education Service and member of the Skills for Londoners Board, said: “At WAES we see the transformational impact of adult learning every day. From helping Londoners get the training they need to get a good job and improve their living standards, to helping businesses address the skills gaps holding them back, skills play an important role for people, communities and businesses across the capital.

“I’m delighted that this data once again highlights the significant impact of London’s adult education budget, and it’s been great to work with City Hall on this pioneering survey.”

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