Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Cities across UK to benefit from £4.5 million City Skills Fund

Cities across UK to benefit from £4.5 million City Skills Fund

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 09 February 2012

The Government has today announced a £4.5 million fund for England’s biggest cities and colleges to work together to boost adult skills across the country.

The City Skills Fund will be available to the eight core cities in England, plus London, and their surrounding local enterprise partnership (LEP) areas.

Each city will receive around £500,000 to address skills priorities across their regions. The City Skills Fund will help cities and LEPs work with local colleges and independent providers to boost the provision of skills needed by local employers. The Government is also challenging cities to develop apprenticeship city hubs which will help local businesses, particularly small businesses, to take on apprentices.

Cities Minister Greg Clark said:

“The City Skills Fund will see our core cities working in partnership with local colleges to ensure employers in their area have access to people with the right skills to help them thrive and grow. We are giving cities the chance to build the skills they think are most important.

“This is another example of how the Government is putting cities back in charge of their own economic destiny, allowing them to drive growth and create jobs.”

Minister for Skills John Hayes said:

“Cities are at the heart of our nation and civic pride, so in launching the City Skills Fund we will give our biggest cities the opportunity to further develop adult skills in their locales. The Government is already making unprecedented investment in apprenticeships, and this fund will further boost adult skills in our great cities across the nation.

“We also want to see cities develop apprenticeship hubs so that local employers can make the most of the opportunities of apprenticeships. It is currently National Apprenticeships Week, which is the time to celebrate the countless achievements of learners and employers, and to call on more firms to say "you're hired" to a new apprentice."

The City Skills Fund will be used to:

Facilitate more effective cooperation and partnership between the business-led LEPs and core cities working with local colleges and independent providers.Develop a jointly agreed set of skills priorities for the core city area so that there is a shared understanding of the local skills requirements to meet business needs and to stimulate growth.Set out how the core cities, LEPs, colleges and independent providers will work together to implement their priorities.Set out how partners will work together to ensure that employer and individual demand in priority skills areas is realised.

In December, the Government announced that England’s largest cities outside London – Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham – will be offered new investment as part of a series of bespoke ‘City Deals’. This will free cities from Whitehall control in a number of areas, allowing them to drive growth in their region. The City Skills Fund is part of the City Deal being offered to each city.

Notes to editors

The Skills Funding Agency, which is responsible for managing the funds, will ensure that the operation of the City Skills Fund is streamlined, and that the funding will be allocated before 31 March 2012.

For further details on the City Deal, read the full document here: http://www.dpm.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/unlocking-growth-cities

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