Adult Education Budget

MQT on 2019-03-21
Session date: 
March 21, 2019
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold OBE
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The delegation of the £311m Adult Education Budget to London this summer is in its final stretch and has proved to be a successful collaboration between the Greater London Authority and Government, particularly the Department for Education. Will you be continuing to lobby for the delegation of 16-18 funding?


Adult Education Budget

Adult Education Budget

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Chairman.  The Skills for Londoners Strategy sets out our ambition to create a single integrated skills and adult education offer for London to deliver a more strategic, whole‑system approach to post‑16 skills.  While devolution of the Adult Education Budget is an important and welcome first step, the Government must go further.  We need a bespoke devolution deal that is responsive to London’s economy considering our scale, the impact of Brexit on the supply of talent, and other skills challenges, particularly the technological challenge. 


I am going to carry on lobbying the Government to devolve further powers to London including 16‑18 provision, career services, Apprenticeship Levy funds and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the domestic successor to the European Structural and Investment Funds.  We are also doing some stuff already to help young people with the new Young Londoners Fund, through the European Social Fund (ESF) programmes aimed at young Londoners who are not in education, employment or training, and a £7 million digital technology pipeline helping young Londoners with talent without the opportunity. 


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Deputy Chair):  Thank you, Mr Mayor, I welcome your answer.  Can I just add my appreciation for your commitment to supporting young people, especially those aged 16‑18, and those young Londoners who are not in employment, education or training for whatever reason?  Do, please, continue the dialogue, yourself and your deputy and officers, with the Department for Education (DfE) because, as you say, the devolution must go further if we are to get the funding and to be able to have that seamless offer for our young people.  As you mentioned, we do have a problem on the horizon around the 16‑18 year old package because much of that comes from the ESF, which, regrettably, will end in 2020 because of Brexit. 


Now, Mayor, a key pillar of your Skills for Londoners Strategy is your adoption of the impact‑based approach to commissioning adult education in London and it is an approach that I welcome.  From the feedback that I have received, it has been welcomed by the FE sector.  Can I ask you to urge Deputy Mayor [for Regeneration, Planning and Skills, Jules] Pipe [CBE] to publish a six‑month progress report so that the Assembly’s Education Panel can start with scrutiny of this innovative approach? 


If Members do not know what this approach is, they can ask me later. 


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  In short, it is making sure that we have colleges and trainers incentivised to make sure that people who go through their system can get a job, a sustainable job, and to look at the impact of the work the colleges are doing. 


Can I respond this way?  We want to make sure we are transparent but also use the expertise around this room.  I will ask Jules Pipe to work with Assembly Member Arnold to work out the best way of giving you the information you need to properly improve and help us raise our game.  For the first year we are limited in what we can do because of the conditions of the devolution.  We have already made sure British Sign Language is being taught but also we are providing assistance for those who are in work, not getting the living wage, who could do with some additional training.  In fact we have done that already.  We did that in year one.  You are right, from year two we can do a lot more and we have a lot more scope.  We will work with you in relation to what we can do to work with providers to make sure the courses they are providing are really adding value to Londoners to get the jobs they need. 


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Deputy Chair):  Thank you.