By Ben Simmons

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 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 small businesses to take on apprentices.

“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,” said Cities Minister Greg Clark. “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.”

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.

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