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Skills Commission

Skills provision in London needs stronger business leadership and accountability to both meet skills needs and get Londoners into jobs. While inner London has the highest productivity level in the UK, London’s unemployment rate is persistently higher than the national average with 20% of young Londoners unemployed.

A gap persists between industry and education, with many young people entering the workplace without the core competencies and skills in demand. The Employment and Skills Commission brings a unique perspective to the debate by bringing a strong business voice to the table. Read its initial report, in partnership with Deloitte here.

The commission consists of the following members:

  • Chairman – John Allan, London First Chairman
  • Construction/ Property – Mark Reynolds, CEO, Mace
  • Finance – Edward Thurman – Managing Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking
  • Professional Services – Angus Knowles-Cutler, Senior Partner and Vice Chairman, Deloitte
  • Retail – Natasha Adams, People Director UK and Ireland, Tesco
  • Digital – Russ Shaw, Tech London Advocates
  • Hospitality – Chris Vaughan, General Counsel, Whitbread
  • Transport – John Holland Kaye, CEO, Heathrow
  • FE/Training – Sir Frank McLoughlin, ex-City & Islington College Principal
  • Infrastructure – Tania Flasck, Vice President for Solutions and Technology Europe, Jacobs
  • Economic/Political- Bob Bischof, Vice President of the German British Chamber of Industry & Commerce

That voice and the experience that lays behind the Commission will be crucial in ensuring that London’s skills system can address the challenges ahead of us in this post-Brexit landscape, including a changing demographic and job automation, as well as ensuring our skills system can meet employer workforce demands both now and in the future.

Our London 2036 report signals that lower income Londoners face a shrinking pool of lower-and mid-skilled jobs, as the London economy becomes increasingly driven by high skilled work. This creates the double challenge of supporting low skilled Londoners into work and meeting London’s need for high level skills.

London First’s Skills Commission will consider how  to create a system where London’s employers can access the talent they need from the local workforce, in the context of skills devolution and in the wake of Brexit. The Commission will work to produce recommendations for the Mayor and his officers on:

  • Creating a business led skills strategy
  • Opening a productive dialogue between government, employers, training providers and the local workforce
  • Making the apprenticeship levy work for London

With the flow of migrant skills and labour expected to be restricted post-Brexit,  how can the skills system help London business build its home-grown workforce?

The Commission will be chaired by London First Chairman John Allan.  It will work closely with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to ensure alignment with their Skills for Londoners Taskforce.

For more information, contact Sophia Wolpers, swolpers(at)

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