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Unconditional devolution for the skills sector

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The case for devolving post-16 skills policy and budgets has been made comprehensively.

It would enable local economies to become more resilient in times of rapid and significant change and pressure. This is particularly the case given the place-based nature of sector make-up, the levelling up agenda and the new pressures created by the pandemic response.  

Yet to date, the potential of skills devolution to develop resilient economies is restricted by the Government’s slow and piecemeal ‘deal-making’ approach. Guided by the principle of subsidiarity, which holds that decisions are best taken as close to people as possible, this project will look at where power lies in the UK’s skills system with a fresh pair of eyes. It will assess how power and resources would be distributed if devolution were unconditional – in other words there if was a presumption that power and resources are best shared with communities that are affected by them.