DD2061 Support for Skills London 2016

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
10 November 2016
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

The Skills Festival Company Limited (SFC) runs Skills London, a free annual jobs and careers event aimed 15-24 year olds. The GLA has supported this event for the last four years enabling young people, teachers and parents/carers across London to access thousands of job opportunities including apprenticeships as well as important careers advice. The paper seeks approval for the GLA to support Skills London 2016.



That the Executive Director approves the GLA’s:

1.    Expenditure of up to £50,000 (revenue) as a contribution to the Skills Festival Company Limited costs of delivering its Skills London 2016 event; and 

2.    Provision of marketing support for the Skills London 2016 event, including space on the TfL tube poster advertising network.  

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Background

1.1.1    Skills London, the capital’s biggest free jobs and careers event is focussed on supporting young Londoners aged 15-24 (including NEETs) into jobs, apprenticeships or further study through the provision of information, advice and guidance.  Skills London also provides young people with access to real job and training opportunities with the employers, education institutions and training providers exhibiting at the event.   

1.1.2    Established in 2005, the annual event is run by the Skills Festival Company Limited (SFC) - a fully owned subsidiary of London First in partnership with Prospects.   All profit generated by the event is recycled for the purpose of developing future events.

1.1.3    The GLA has supported Skills London since 2012, under cover of two separate grant funding agreements approved under cover of: DD919 (approving £30,000 of core GLA revenue budget for the 2012 event); and DD1084 (approving £450,000 from the Growing Places Fund to support the Skills London event over a three year period (2013 – 2015)).

1.1.4    The funding provided by the GLA has enhanced the event and enabled the event to grow; ensuring that both the number of visitors and the number of employer exhibitors have increased each year and improving the interactivity of the event content. 

1.1.5    Grant funding has also enabled GLA Officers to influence the planning of the event; consequently its focus has been reflective of the sectors important to London’s economy.  Specifically, the event organisers have prioritised sales to exhibitors from the Construction, STEM Creative and Hospitality sectors.

1.1.6    In addition to the grant funding, the GLA has previously provided marketing support to the Skills London event, including poster advertising across the Transport for London (TfL) Tube network,  

1.2    Skills London 2016

1.2.1     Skills London 2016 will take place on 9th -10th December at ExCel London. 

1.2.2    Recognising the contribution that the event can make which are of benefit to London and Londoners, which align with many of the Mayor’s skills and employment priorities (as more fully described in section 4) and to ensure the quality of the event is maintained, approval is sought for:          

1.    expenditure of up to £50,000 (revenue) as a contribution to the Skills Festival Company Limited costs of delivering its Skills London 2016 event; and 

2.    Provision of marketing support for the Skills London 2016 event, including space on the TfL tube poster advertising network.  part of the GLA’s TfL inventory allocation. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1.     Objectives

2.1.1    The expected outcomes of Skills London 2016 are as follows;

•    More young Londoners are supported into work, an apprenticeship or further study;

•    More young people and their parents are able to make informed career decisions, including apprenticeships; and

•    The capacity of London’s teachers attending the event is enhanced, enabling them to provide young people with quality careers advice and guidance, including apprenticeships. 

2.1.2    The expected outputs of Skills London 2016 are as follows:

•    210 exhibitors (50% of which being employers) vs 2015 target of 200 exhibitors.  

•    Over 32,500  visitors vs a 2015 target of 30,000 visitors

•    Over 200 educational establishments attending with every London borough represented, vs 2015 target of 175

•    20 Get Skilled stands (where visitors can try first-hand the skills associated with a specific job role (e.g. brick laying) vs  15 get skilled stands in 2015

•    Over 75% of exhibitors offering Apprenticeships vs 2015 target of 70% of exhibitors offering Apprenticeships

•    Over 45,000 jobs on offer including Apprenticeships

Equality comments

3.1    The event organisers ensure that the event accessible to all young Londoners including those with protective characteristics ensuring the event marketing materials are  designed to appeal to all sexes, and reflect the wide diversity of London.  

3.2    The event is marketed on a pan London basis, however a SFC have prioritised the inner London boroughs to ensure that Schools from the most deprived areas of London are aware of the event. Schools are given a bursary from the revenue raised by the exhibitor sales to ensure the widest possible attendance.

3.3    Data on the protected characteristics of visitors will be collected as part of the event. Past event evaluation has shown a good mix of visitors to the event.



Other considerations

4.1    Contribution to Mayoral Manifesto pledges:  

4.1.1    Supporting Skills London 2016 would contribute too many of the Mayor’s 2016 manifesto ambitions around Skills for Londoners; Specifically Skills London will; 

•    Provide practical support to address skills gaps and help to create a pipeline of skilled London workers to make the most of the opportunities in London’s growth sectors; 

•    Work with schools to improve careers advice and to promote opportunities for children to get an early start in career skills; 

•    Ensure that young Londoners are encouraged to explore the skills they need to get on in the future economy; 

•    Promote the take-up of high quality apprenticeship programmes; 

•    Support the development of a London STEM strategy by linking young people with careers and skills in science, tech, engineering and manufacturing.  

4.2    Supporting Mayoral and GLA skills and employment priorities:  

4.2.1    Pending a decision on GLA support for Skills London 2016, SFC has continued to include GLA Skills and Employment Policy Officers in the event planning meetings.  GLA involvement has ensured that the composition of exhibitors is reflective of sectors considered important to London’s economy. There is also focus on the promotion of higher level apprenticeships.

4.2.2    SFC have provided free exhibition space to a number of specialist organisations to support to young people visiting Skills London 2016 with confidence coaching, interview preparation, mock interview skills workshops, digital profile skills, financial planning and use of social media to create a professional on-line profile. 

4.2.3    Furthermore, SMEs and start-ups from sectors important to London’s economy have been offered subsidised rates, shared stands and other methods to enable them to exhibit. 

4.3    Link to London Ambitions:  

4.3.1    Skills London is referenced within the London Ambitions Careers Offer, which was developed jointly in June 2015 by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) and London Councils.  Specifically, the document references Skills London as one of its key recommendations:

‘Every young Londoner should have completed at least 100 hours experience of the world of work, in some form, by the time they reach the age of 16. This may include career insights from industry experts, work tasters, coaching, mentoring, enterprise activities, part-time work, participation in Skills London and The Big Bang Event, work shadowing, work experience/supported work experience and other relevant activities’. 

4.3.2    The London Ambitions Careers Curriculum, a resource to support teachers in developing a careers strategy, will be launched at and promoted throughout Skills London 2016.

4.3.3    Furthermore, all employer exhibitors in at this year’s event will be asked to pledge work related experience to Skills London visitors in support of the London Ambitions recommendations.

4.4    Risks 

4.4.1    Duplication – there is a risk that Skills London will duplicate other annual jobs and careers events.    This risk is mitigated by the fact that Skills London is the only jobs and careers event of it size in London.   Larger national events exist but would require young Londoners to travel.  Skills London has been intentionally scheduled for December to avoid clashing with a large national jobs and careers event.

Financial comments

5.1    The proposed grant of £50,000 to the Skills Festival Company Limited (SFC) will be funded from the Growing Places Fund revenue budget. In addition to the grant, the GLA will be providing in-kind support in the form of marketing for Skills London, including space on TFL’s tube poster advertising network up to the value of £42,000 (which will be contained within existing resources available to the GLA Marketing Team).

5.2    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

5 November  2016

Announcement [if applicable]

5 November 2016

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

5 November 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

15 January 2017

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

31 January 2017

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

15 February 2017