Boris should wield his powers’ to beat recession, Assembly urges

BORIS Johnson should “wield his powers more effectively” otherwise London will struggle to recover from the recession, a London Assembly report urges. A shortage of skills threatens London’s long-term recovery, the report warns

By Mike Brooke

BORIS Johnson should "wield his powers more effectively" otherwise London will struggle to recover from the recession, a London Assembly report urges.

Unemployment has risen by 65 per cent since the recession began, while a shortage of skills threatens London's long-term recovery, the report warns.

The Mayor has not yet made the most of his recently acquired powers to influence resources for jobs and skills in the capital, the Assembly's Economic Development committee has told him.

Committee chair Dee Doocey said: "The recession has really taken its toll and the Mayor is uniquely placed to help unemployed Londoners.

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"He must use his new powers to get organisations working together to make training more available. The progress to reform skills and employment services has been disappointing."

The impact of the recession has been most severe in East London, where unemployment was already high. But even the better-off areas with relatively low unemployment before the recession have seen their largest percentage rises, in some areas more than doubled.

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The report warns that failing to meet a growing demand for high-level skills could mean long-term damage to London's economy. It suggests half the jobs by 2020will need degree qualifications.

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