London’s careers services falling short, says new Assembly report
One in six jobs in the capital is unfilled because there is no-one with the right expertise to do the job a new London Assembly report reveals, as it calls for improved careers services in the capital.
The report Tailor-made says the capital's economy is being held back by the skills shortage and careers services in London are currently falling short - particularly for people over 50, parents, women and those in low paid work.
It highlights research showing that nearly three times as many 50 plus workers wish to progress their careers than wind up for retirement and that 61 per cent of women said their career-based decisions had changed significantly since having children.
The Assembly Economy Committee recommends more tailored support for these groups and for the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) to have a new clear role in shaping careers services to reflect fully the needs of Londoners, employers and the economy.
The report highlights low public awareness of the National Careers Service (NCS) in London and warns a lack of local and regional labour market information is weakening the current service. It also says employers are getting discouraged when contacted by the great number of sub-contractors all delivering careers services in the capital.
The report by the Assembly's Economy Committee calls for:
• a clear role for London government in shaping careers services in the capital;
• more flexibility so services are able to deliver tailored services and have the most impact with limited resources;
• improved access to local and up-to-date labour market information;
• more co-ordinated employer engagement; and
• greater transparency and enhanced inspections of careers services.
Andrew Dismore AM, launching the report on behalf of the London Assembly Economy Committee, said: "There are over 4.3 million in London's labour force, many of whom are looking to get back into work or to progress into a better role, yet one in six job vacancies is unfilled because no-one has the skills for the role.
"That is where the careers service should step in by identifying growth areas, working with employers and helping people gain the skills they need. However in London, services are not up to the job, particularly for the over 50s, working parents and those in low paid positions who need tailored support.
"If we want London to thrive in these difficult economic times, the capital' s careers services need to improve so people can fulfil their promise and employers can find the workers they need."