Skills policy is an area that cities want greater control over. They appreciate that tailoring priorities at a local level in conjunction with employers, providers, schools, colleges, universities etc means that they can develop the skills that match their needs.
This makes the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill that is now in Parliament of critical importance. The opportunity for a real change in focus exists. But this change can only happen if central government is prepared to let go.
George Osborne says he wants to build a 'northern powerhouse' and has plegded to devolve greater power to city regions, but that could be under threat thanks to a shortage of skills, a new report claims. The research by recruitment firm ManpowerGroup suggested that employers were keen to create new jobs but were struggling to find the right candidates.