London is where business comes to find a diverse pool of talent and talent comes to find opportunity.
But there are serious challenges facing the London labour market, from the cost of living to the restrictions of the immigration system. The pandemic has worsened pre-existing inequalities. And the careers advice system that should help people into work is fragmented, underfunded and lacks a strong business voice.
Reform is needed to create a simple, effective system that works for people of all ages and situations, and that can be tailored at the local level, supported by the right devolved powers. Simplicity is needed to help businesses access what already exists, to help job seekers into work and to streamline the immigration system so that it can meet skills gaps as they arise.
This means: an effective London Careers Service, underpinned by better data; quality partnerships between educators and employers; meaningful devolution; and an immigration system that can meets the needs of a recovering economy.
The process of employing refugees should also be made simpler, as having a job is a critical part of starting a new life. We cannot rely on the generosity of those housing refugees today; we need to meet this with a business sponsorship scheme that can operate at scale.