Skills 2030 Leeds Evidence Session

The Skills 2030 Inquiry recently held its first evidence session on ‘Skills and Devolution’, with stakeholders gathering in Leeds to evaluate experiences of skills devolution and consider how and when it works most effectively.  

This was the first of two evidence sessions for Skills 2030 which is a major inquiry by the Skills Commission into how to deliver a world-class skills system in England by the end of the next Parliament. It has been bringing together leading figures from across the skills sector, including key stakeholders in Further Education, Higher Education, skills policy, industry, and academia. 

Chaired by Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, and Graham Hasting-Evans, Chief Executive of NOCN Group, the session began with a discussion of West Yorkshire’s devolution experience, ‘Trailblazer’ devolution deals, and the perspectives of employers, Higher Education, and central government on skills devolution.  

Despite recognition that the design of skills devolution is complex, there was strong consensus that skills devolution has improved outcomes for learners, educational providers, and employers.  

There was also a focus on the future of skills devolution, with participants across different sectors expressing their views on what best practice for further devolution could look like. There was a focus on avoiding duplication, localising career guidance, and addressing barriers to participation in education and training.  

Several other important cross-cutting themes emerged during the discussion at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, with it noted that more joined-up, strategic working and greater support for SMEs can enable locally tailored responses to emerging economic needs and skills shortages. 

For more information on Skills 2030, please contact peter.wilson [at] (peter[dot]wilson[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk)