Tuesday 7 July 2020 4:00 pm

Sadiq Khan commits an additional £2m to help Londoners retrain during pandemic

Sadiq Khan is making an additional £2m available for training opportunities to help Londoners, many of whom have been furloughed or made redundant during the pandemic.

The London mayor launched his Skills for Londoners Covid-19 Fund in May with an initial allocation of £6m. However, given the high levels of demand across the capital it is now being increased to £8m.

Read more: Sadiq Khan slams Johnson’s New Deal for ‘failing to grasp’ scale of economic crisis

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the Covid-19 crisis has led to more than a million Londoners being furloughed and a reported rise in unemployment.

And there are fears that when the scheme winds down in October that there will be further job losses to come.

The OECD today said the UK’s unemployment rate could soar to 11.7 per cent, a level not seen since the 1980s. This would inch up further to 15 per cent if the UK suffers a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The mayor’s fund is intended to help skills providers shift courses online and to help people access remote learning.

Funding under the response fund is split intwo strands. The first is an expansion of online learning, targeted at workers on furlough and the self-employed, as well those who have been redundant.

The second will help with a shift to digital learning and the additional £2m is expected to help skills providers improve their digital infrastructure to deliver online learning.

It comes ahead of the Chancellor’s summer statement tomorrow in which he is expected to invest further in training for young people.

Rishi Sunak has already announced an investment of £111m to triple traineeships to provide maths, English and CV writing training. He is also set to invest £32m in the National Careers Service to help recruit hundreds more career advisers.

Read more: Rishi Sunak’s summer statement: What can we expect?

Deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, Jules Pipe, said: ““The Mayor and I are committed to doing all we can to help skills providers continue to offer vital training, including reaching those are at risk of missing out.”

The additional funding has been allocated from London’s share of the national Adult Education Budget, which was devolved to London last year.

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