Abstracts: July 13th, 2009

This document sets outs ways in which the recommendations of The Tackling Worklessness review of the contribution and role of English local authorities will be carried forward.

The measures include inviting local authorities to make bids for innovative approaches to apprenticeships. Funding has been provided to set up Apprenticeship Training Agencies who will hire apprentices out to businesses, giving the host employers more flexibility and reducing the administrative burden on them. Funds will be open to public and private sectors.

Procurement will also feature in creating more jobs by promoting investment in skills and when letting new contracts. Central government contracts will ensure that everyone can access literacy and numeracy skills training if they need it and the case for introducing a requirement that a proportion of the project workforce is made up of apprentices when departments and agencies let new construction contracts is being considered.

Local authorities should use their procurement power to embed skills and training requirements in the £42bn a year that the review estimates is spent on external procurement. They are also being encouraged to make greater use of planning powers to promote skills and training.

It is expected that a local authority representative will become a member of the new advisory group for the DWP Commissioning Strategy Code of Conduct quality standard.

Stepping up the challenge is available from DCLG.