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Business welcomes demand-led work-skills training plan

London First, the influential business organisation representing London’s 300 leading companies, today hailed the Mayor’s draft London Skills strategy as a critical step towards connecting out-of-work Londoners with the capital’s jobs.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation on the London Skills and Employment Board (LSEB) Skills Strategy, Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“The Mayor has involved business from the word go in shaping the future of skills in London through the new LSEB.  This is a chance for business to have its voice heard and to reconnect training, employers and potential employees.

“With all its economic success, it’s a disgrace that London has the lowest proportion of people in work in the whole country.  Despite the best efforts of training providers, people have walked away with a bundle of certificates rather than the skills to get them actual jobs.  Giving Londoners the right skills to get them into jobs must be our priority.”

The LSEB has also recently carried out research of over 2000 London employers’ views on the current situation and key challenges facing skills provision in London.  Key findings included:

  • 92% of employers view broader employability skills such as literacy, numeracy and communication skills as the most important factor when recruiting and promoting – over and above qualifications
  • School and Higher Education leavers are not seen to have these work-ready employability skills by employers
  • Employers welcomed Government steps to improve employability – and would prioritise skills and attitudes towards work gained at school

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors
1. Harvey McGrath, Vice Chair of the Mayor’s London Skills and Employment Board, is also Chairman of London First|

2. London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure

3. London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.

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