• 39 organisations will provide high-quality skills and training support for Londoners most impacted by the pandemic
  • The funding will directly help Londoners with the skills needed to find jobs in sectors such as digital and green industries, health and social care, and our creative and cultural sectors.
  • During COVID-19 London has had the biggest increase in unemployment of any region in the country. Sadiq says without bold action ‘inequality of opportunity’ in London could be exacerbated further by the pandemic.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a major new fund to give Londoners the skills they need to find employment as the capital emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today Sadiq has committed to an ‘unprecedented package of support’ to ensure Londoners of all backgrounds can pursue careers in areas vital to London’s economic recovery. Figures show it is London that has been hardest hit by increased unemployment as a result of the pandemic. The Mayor is warning that without bold action around employment and skills ‘inequality of opportunity’ in London could be exacerbated hugely by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayor’s £32m Good Work for All Fund being announced today will provide skills support for Londoners most impacted by the pandemic including young adults, Black and Minority Ethnic groups, women, disabled Londoners and older Londoners. Londoners will be able to access free training and courses up to level 3 (intermediate level) that will help them directly find jobs in sectors such as digital and green industries, health and social care, and our creative and cultural sector.* The funding will be specifically targeted at Londoners who are unemployed or currently earning below the London Living Wage.

Working closely with colleges, skills and learning providers, London boroughs and businesses and civil society organisations, 39 organisations will be receiving funding from the Good Work for All Fund. Of these, 20 are receiving City Hall funding for the first time. Organisations receiving funding include:

  • System Group Ltd – System Group is an independent training provider and will be delivering work across multiple London boroughs. Their ‘Green Transport and Logistics’ programme has been co-designed with employers and sector body partners, in response to the Mayor’s Net Zero carbon 2030 target. They will deliver inclusive adult education and training services for London residents most at risk of long-term unemployment, enabling them to retrain and access new employment opportunities.
  • JGA Ltd – JGA Ltd is an independent training provider based in Harrow. They deliver a wide range of provision including supporting some of the most disadvantaged Londoners to develop the skills needed to move into good jobs in London’s creative sector. This includes qualifications in areas such as Graphic Design, Games Production, Coding and Music Production.
  • London Borough of Hounslow – The London Borough of Hounslow will provide high quality Digital Skills & Technology, Creative and Enterprise learning programmes at their Adult Education Centre in Cranford, working closely with employers and other stakeholders
  • Learning Curve Group – Learning Curve Group is an independent training provider and will be working across multiple London boroughs. They will deliver provision across multiple sectors including basic and intermediate digital skills provision, giving Londoners the skills that are valued by employers to find good jobs in this high growth area.
  • Barking and Dagenham College – Barking and Dagenham College will deliver a range of provision in East London with a focus on supporting traditional sectors like Health and Social Care, expanding its work in the Creative Industries and also developing provision in new sectors such as the Green Economy. Last year the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham secured approval for the “Made in Dagenham” film studios, and the College has developed a strong offer for learners to access local training opportunities and gain local employment in the film industry.

Londoners have been impacted hugely by the COVID pandemic. The capital has had the highest take up of the coronavirus job retention scheme of any region – with around 511,000 employees still on furlough at the end of April 2021. And despite this support the total number of young Londoners (aged 16-24) claiming unemployment related benefits increased by 52,700 or 186 per cent between March 2020 and April 2021. London has the highest unemployment rate of any region, at 6.5 per cent.

Since 2019, the Greater London Authority has been responsible for London’s annual £330 million Adult Education Budget, which funds the majority of publicly-funded learning for adults aged 19 and over in the capital. The Mayor has just launched his draft Adult Education Roadmap for London for consultation, which sets out how London’s skills providers can create more relevant and impactful provision for Londoners that better serves all of the capital’s communities over the coming years, including targeting more funding for those in low-paid work.

Ensuring that Londoners from all backgrounds are able to get the skills they need to progress both in life and work is a key part of the Mayor’s plans to address inequality and build a fairer city as we emerge from COVID-19. In supporting Londoners to retrain, upskill and enhance their employability it will help both those who have lost their job during the pandemic and those who want to secure better-paid employment.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “With London seeing the biggest rise in unemployment in the country during the pandemic, inequality of opportunity could be exacerbated hugely if we’re not bold and ambitious in our response.

“I’m delighted to be announcing this new £32M fund which will directly help unemployed and low paid Londoners access the training and skills that employers say they need.

“From graphic design and our digital sectors, to health and social care, this unprecedented package of support is aimed at ensuring all Londoners can have the opportunity to pursue fulfilling careers, whatever their age, background or experience.

“As we recover from the impact of COVID-19, my mission remains building a fairer, more equal and prosperous city. But this will only be possible if all Londoners can access the vital skills and training our employers and businesses say they need now, and over the coming years.”

Jane Hickie, Chief Executive at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said: “The Good Work for All Fund is an excellent innovation. It shows how adult education can respond to the impact of the pandemic by meeting the skills needs of key sectors across London.  AELP strongly supports prioritising free training up to level 3. This can make a major difference in helping unemployed people retrain and quickly get back into work.

“I am confident that the chosen providers can take this ground-breaking initiative forward and ensure that the Mayor’s investment leads to new, quality jobs for Londoners.”

Jordan Cummins, CBI’s Head of London Policy, said: “Futureproofing the skills system and tackling skills shortages will help drive our economic recovery and avoid failing Londoners in years to come. The CBI and its members welcome the Good Work for All Fund, at a critical moment for the capital’s workforce, and its aims to reduce inequality of opportunity.”

Nicolas Bosetti, Centre for London’s Head of Data and Insight, said: “Londoners have been really hard hit by this pandemic – the city’s had the highest number of staff on furlough across England over the last year and the highest unemployment rate of any UK region.

“As the government starts to wind down its furlough scheme, this new funding will open up opportunities for Londoners on low incomes and jobseekers to learn new skills and succeed in the capital’s highly competitive job market.

“By focusing on London’s growth sectors including the digital, green and creative industries, the fund should offer these Londoners the potential to access long term employment and progression.”

Mark Hilton, London First’s Executive Director for People, said: “London’s unemployment has rocketed during the pandemic and urgent action is needed to match those looking for work to the jobs available now and in the future. Access to free training and support via the Good Work for All Fund is a much needed piece of the puzzle when it comes to reskilling to support recovery.”

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