A plan to tackle skill shortages and help Londoners get higher paying jobs has been launched by business advocacy group BusinessLDN, after new figures revealed that the capital has higher unemployment levels than the rest of England.
The Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), which has received backing from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, aims to highlight to employers the missing skills in their workforce and what areas they should focus on to secure employees.
These include digital skills, green skills, transferable skills and labour market inclusion.
BusinessLDN also called for the launch of a new one-stop-shop to support job-seekers, creating a London Recruitment and Skills Support Hub.
“This is an extremely important plan as we work to develop the workforce our economy needs now and in the future, and build a better, more prosperous London for everyone,” Khan said.
“Skills shortages are a barrier to growth and I am pleased that we are teaming up with businesses to ensure Londoners have the skills they need to get on and succeed.”
It comes as new figures show that three-quarters of firms were reporting open vacancies, and of those some 65 per cent were struggling to fill them.
A further 57 per cent cited a low number of suitable applicants with the required skills as the biggest challenge to recruitment.
According to LSIP, the capital’s unemployment is around one per cent higher than the national average and 21.9 per cent of the labour market was economically inactive for the three months ending January 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics.
LSIP is also in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses London (FSB London), London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and CBI London, with the backing of the Mayor of London and funded by the Department for Education.
“The capital urgently needs to tackle skills shortages to get more Londoners into jobs, reduce inequality and ensure businesses can access the people they need to grow,” John Dickie, chief executive at BusinessLDN, said.
“This roadmap sets out steps to future-proof London’s labour market by ensuring our skills system is fit for purpose as the transition to net zero and rapid technological change reshapes the jobs market.
“We will use the LSIP’s next phase to bring together London government, business and training providers to close the skills gaps holding back our economy by turning this plan into action.”