City Lit Blog

City Lit response to The Mayor of London’s Skills Strategy

Story added 6th Jun 2018


The Mayor of London’s Skills Strategy - Skills for Londoners: A Skills and Adult Education Strategy for London has been launched. This has been heralded as the first post-16 skills and adult education strategy produced by a London Mayor. It sets out the contextual skills challenges London faces, along with the priorities and actions required to make the London skills system the ‘envy of the world’, with the devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) in 2019/20 to the Mayor in London.

The three key priorities at the heart of the strategy, with high level objectives for each: 

1. Empower all Londoners to access the education and skills to participate in society and progress in education and work

2. Meet the needs of London's economy and employers now and in the future

3. Deliver a strategic city-wide technical skills and adult education offer

And the full strategy can be found here:  

We welcome the strategy as a step forward. We have engaged in the consultation of the Strategy, so it is hugely encouraging to see City Lit highlighted in the case study work and specific text on the work of the London Institutes of Adult Learning (City Lit; Morley College; Working Men’s College; and Mary Ward Centre) referenced in the Strategy, namely:

“The Mayor recognises the importance of adult education in equipping Londoners with the relevant life, education and employment skills needed to support critical ‘life transitions’. London’s Institutes for Adult Learning (IAL)are historic landmarks in the learning landscape of London. Serving 60,000 Londoners a year, the institutes deliver thousands of courses providing flexible study opportunities for all ages and stages of life, helping Londoners to achieve their ambitions. They also deliver a range of specialist provision for adults. For instance, one central London institute is nationally recognised for its work with the deaf and those with acquired hearing loss. As well as developing skills to lip read, learners also gain wider benefits such as regaining their confidence and reconnecting socially.”

It also includes a joint quote from London’s Institutes for Adult Learning:  “Whatever their age or stage in life, Londoners should be encouraged, supported and enabled to develop the skills that will contribute to our economy and collective wellbeing. Adult education has an essential role to play in delivering the Skills for Londoners Strategy.”  As well as case studies under the headings of Raising Aspirations and Removing barriers to learning, that reference our work: on an accredited Digital Skills course being run in partnership with Thames Reach Employment Academy; and developing confidence in communication and techniques regarding an individual’s stammer on a course. 

Alongside this strategy the Mayor will now set out his funding priorities, outcomes and delivery arrangements for the devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) and other City Hall-funded skills and employment programmes in London in his ‘Skills for Londoners Framework’ – expected to be released for consultation in June.  Activities will focus on delivering quality learning and employability skills for post-19 learners, and ensuring that provision aligns with the needs of the economy. Outcomes will be focused on progression and helping Londoners into work (through apprenticeships, further and higher-level learning), as well as recognition of the wider benefits of learning.  

Phil Chamberlain, Executive Director for External Engagement at City Lit, commented: “We welcome this ambitious Skills for Londoners Strategy. It’s clear that the Mayor recognises the distinct value and contribution of City Lit and the other London Institutes of Adult Learning – and how we support the needs of Londoners. We look forward to working closely with The Mayor and his team on implementing the strategy.”