London and the UK are experiencing a serious skills-to-jobs mismatch, and the gap is getting wider. In the last year, nearly 90% of UK employers struggled to recruit staff with the right skills. London in particular faces a rapidly ageing population, EU workers leaving – or not coming – and barriers to learning and employment amongst vulnerable groups.
The jobs do exist; as noted above, many go unfilled while other employers are having to hire people not ready or suited for the work, causing instability for employer and employee. In many cases, the mismatch is about understanding which skills are – and will be – needed, and about access to relevant courses and in-work training.
Local services across all sectors are best placed to connect employers and job seekers, but London needs a city-wide pool of information on skills and workforce trends, on how to access training and on how to find – and develop – a ready-for-work labour force.
To help, the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Strategy and ensuing Framework proposed a new Skills and Employment Knowledge Hub, which would draw on the world-class data in the London Datastore, connect to relevant networks, and learn from previous efforts. The Hub’s aim is to provide information in an accessible form to help policymakers, skills providers, employers and learners make informed decisions about employment, skills and the economy.
User input is key to making the new service work well. To gather views on how the Hub can be most useful for policymakers, employers, training providers and learners, the GLA is partnering with consultancy Rocket Science, cross-sector network Future of London and the Employment Related Services Association.
In May and June, Future of London and ERSA will run workshops and other live and online sounding boards to seek input from stakeholders across Greater London, while Rocket Science explores likely connections, alternatives in and beyond the UK, and ways to make the Knowledge Hub sustainable.
Questions will include experience of current skills and services information; what key groups need from a city-wide hub and how they want it to work. The hub is not designed to be a recruiting or jobseeker service, but should help learners and employers come together with better skills matches and training and employment signposting.
Future of London will run four sub-regional workshops including council and GLA policymakers, employers and related groups, while ERSA will run two events focused on training providers. Other activities for reaching learners including young people, older or vulnerable populations and non-English speakers are being developed as well.
If you or your organisation want a say, as part of a workshop, via online survey or in reaching one or more of the learner groups above, please get in touch. Your answers will be anonymised and your data protected.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and say whether you are an employer, training provider or learner so they can best match you to a session.