City deals skills

People are coming to cities far faster than the planning process can incorporate them. Often, they find their own land and build a shack before the government has a chance to learn of their existence. The attitude of a government towards urbanisation is also an important component. Some governments take a hostile approach to urbanisation.


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They believe that if they provide urban services to the poor, it will attract urbanisation and cause the slums to grow. The problem with this view is that very few people come to the city for water or services—they come looking for work. In other cases, governments take more of a passive approach to urbanisation. They either do not have the planning tools to deal with the rapid urbanisation that is happening, or the tools in place are not sufficiently responsive to the reality on the ground.

There are basic things a government can do to prevent new slums from developing. One is to recognise that urbanisation is going to happen. Sometimes governments believe that adopting alternative policies, such as focusing on rural development, will stop urbanisation. This approach is rarely effective. Once governments accept the reality of urban growth, the next step is to plan for it and determine where the new residents will live.

Authorities should identify land and plan for its settlement even if money is not available for urban services.

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Once people settle on that land and feel that they have a right to live there, they will begin investing in it. Over time, the area will upgrade incrementally. Back to top. Land tenure is the right of an individual or group to occupy or use a piece of land. It can be via ownership or lease. Land rights is about confidence in the future.

People who are safe from eviction with a sense of long-term stability—whether they own the land or not—are much more likely to invest in their housing or community. Over time, these incremental improvements by residents can upgrade the entire community. There must also be a clear legal framework behind land rights. Often, slum dwellers face significant obstacles to owning or obtaining the rights to land. Land markets are frequently dysfunctional, and inappropriate standards or regulations make it nearly impossible for local authorities to find enough well-located, serviceable and affordable land for the residents of overcrowded slum settlements.

In addition, control of land is often connected to political patronage and corruption, making it difficult to get clear information about land ownership, use and availability. Slum dwellers are part of the urban populace, with the same democratic rights to environmental health and basic living conditions as all residents.

The process of realising the rights of slum dwellers hinges on their capacity to engage actively with the government. It is a question of creating a space where slum dwellers and the government can engage in a dialogue about slums and upgrading their communities. Through dialogue, the parties can begin to lay out their rights and responsibilities and design programmes that communities are able to respond to. Slum upgrading is a process through which informal areas are gradually improved, formalised and incorporated into the city itself, through extending land, services and citizenship to slum dwellers.

It involves providing slum dwellers with the economic, social, institutional and community services available to other citizens.

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These services include legal land tenure , physical infrastructure , social crime or education, for example or economic. Slum upgrading is not simply about water or drainage or housing. It is about putting into motion the economic, social, institutional and community activities that are needed to turn around downward trends in an area.

These activities should be undertaken cooperatively among all parties involved—residents, community groups, businesses as well as local and national authorities if applicable. The activities tend to include the provision of basic services such as housing, streets, footpaths, drainage, clean water, sanitation, and sewage disposal.

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Often, access to education and health care are also part of upgrading. In addition to basic services, one of the key elements of slum upgrading is legalising or regularising properties and bringing secure land tenure to residents. Ultimately, upgrading efforts aim to create a dynamic in the community where there is a sense of ownership, entitlement and inward investment in the area. Urban upgrading is broadly defined as physical, social, economic, organisational, and environmental improvements undertaken cooperatively among citizens, community groups, businesses, and local authorities to ensure sustained improvements in the quality of life for residents.

Generally, urban upgrading is about striking a balance between investing in areas that attract investment to the city on a global level and in programmes that invest in the citizens of the city so they can reap the benefits as well. The interconnectivity of the two is crucial to a successful development strategy of any city. Slum upgrading is an integrated component of investing in citizens. Residents of a city have a fundamental right to environmental health and basic living conditions. As such, cities must ensure the citizenship rights of the urban poor. The main reason for slum upgrading is that people have a fundamental right to live with basic dignity and in decent conditions.

If slums are allowed to deteriorate, governments can lose control of the populace and slums become areas of crime and disease that impact the whole city. Fostering inclusion. Slum upgrading addresses serious problems affecting slum residents, including illegality, exclusion, precariousness and barriers to services, credit, land, and social protection for vulnerable populations such as women and children.

Promoting economic development. Upgrading releases the vast untapped resources of slum dwellers that have skills and a huge desire to be a more productive part of the economy, but are held back by their status and marginality. Addressing overall city issues.

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It deals with city issues by containing environmental degradation, improving sanitation, lowering violence and attracting investment. Improving quality of life. It elevates the quality of life of the upgraded communities and the city as a whole, providing more citizenship, political voice, representation, improved living conditions, increased safety and security. Providing shelter for the poor. It is the most effective way to provide shelter to the urban poor at a very large scale and at the lowest cost.

Slum upgrading costs less and is more effective than relocation to public housing. Developing land with basic services costs even less. It can be done incrementally by the city and by the residents at a pace that is technically and financially possible for both. The poor can and are willing to pay for improved services and homes.

Sometimes it is necessary to tear down a slum. In some cases, slums are built on land that is unsafe or fundamentally unstable. For example, a slum may develop on an infill site where there is methane gas that can cause serious health problems. Or, slums could be located on areas that are prone to land or mudslides.

In such cases, relocation may be the best option. Generally, though, slums are built on land that is well-located and provides easy access to the city and its opportunities. Most slum evictions occur when local authorities want to remove slums located on prime real estate and turn the land over to developers or other vested interests. Location is critically important for the urban poor. They need to be near the city where job opportunities are accessible. There are many factors that are needed for a slum upgrading programme to be successful.

The two most important ones are strong political will on behalf of government and strong buy-in on the part of communities. There must also be a sense of partnership among all parties. Moreover, the slum upgrading initiative must meet a real need; people must want it and understand why it is important. It is also beneficial if upgrading activities are city-wide and involve partners beyond the slums themselves, which is especially important in implementation.

There must be incentives for agencies to work with the poor; good communication and coordination among stakeholders; and clearly defined roles for the various agencies involved. To keep slum upgrading going, it should be a priority in financing, institutions and regulations. The primary challenges in slum upgrading are achieving some kind of coherence in the community and finding solutions to a wide range of needs.

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Slums are not homogeneous, and there many diverse vested interests that exist in slums. In addition to the poor who are simply looking for a decent place to live, there can be criminal elements who take advantage of the informal space, or landlords who make small fortunes renting out shacks to people over time.

All of these interests must be properly understood and brought into the planning process. The best way to do this is through negotiated development, in which people participate in negotiating their rights and understand that all the different interests have rights that need to be brought into the equation.

Generally, as adequate policies are implemented and the local economy grows, slums gradually disappear as residents invest in their homes and upgrade them over time. The shack slowly becomes a house, and the slum becomes a decent suburb. It is important to note that there are different phases of slum upgrading projects. The Skills Bank will also be enhanced and the city region will work in partnership with the National Careers Service to coordinate employer-education activity.

City deals and skills

DWP has also committed to consulting with the city region on the possibility of commissioning the next phase of the Work Programme and to entering discussions on an ESA pilot see Box 3 for a summary of the employment and skills deals agreed with Sheffield City Region through the deal process. A pilot will test if this mechanism can facilitate training brokerage activities for SMEs.

Co-commissioning: Agreement of a joint venture between the LEP, combined authority and SFA to co-commission skills, including shared decision-making, financial risk and delivery. There are commitments to consult on a joint commissioning approach for the next phase of the Work Programme beginning in , and for a public sector reform pilot bringing together JCP, the city region authorities and other agencies to improve outcomes for ESA claimants.

Influence: Measures also include greater influence over careers advice for young people, building on Enterprise Advisor Pilot through working with National Careers Service, as well as a Skills Capital Fund to upgrade the existing FE estate across Sheffield City Region. Flexing national policy: The first wave of City Deals, in particular, gave major city regions the ability to shape national policy. For example, the Devolved Youth Contract for year olds gave local partners greater flexibility in managing the application of payment-by-results, in defining programme entry criteria and in determining the measurement of sustained outcomes.

The Local Growth Deals did not, on the whole, devolve or localise flexibilities over national policies, although several cities were given the flexibility to re-route funding if local priorities changed. Filling gaps in national provision: The Apprenticeship Hubs established through the first and second wave of City Deals are one example of local partners using agreements with national government to fill gaps in national provision. The Hubs aim to increase the scale, breadth and quality of apprenticeship delivery in local areas by supporting employers, and SMEs in particular, to engage with the apprenticeship process.

Existing JCP support will be complemented by additional intensive caseworker support through the centre. Two of the most significant in terms of scale and evaluation are the Manchester Working Well pilot 22 and the London Working Capital pilot see Box 1. Overall though, the focus on capital funding of projects available through the Local Growth Deals meant that there was less scope to experiment with new policy.

Other examples of experimentation that took place, but outside of the deals process, include Skills Funding Incentive pilots; the government agreed to pilot an incentive-based employment and skills model in Bristol to test whether more local influence over funding to FE colleges can improve local outcomes and deliver training that meets local priorities see Box 4. The pilots seek to positively incentivise providers to align their provision to local priorities by allowing the LEPs to recommend for up to 5 per cent of the Adult Skills Budget allocations to be withheld in future if the priorities are not deemed to have been met.

In the West of England, the pilot is based around challenge frameworks co-designed with employers to tackle the barriers to training provision that meets locally set priorities. The five main FE colleges in the area have formed a consortium to deliver provision according to the framework designed to make the system more responsive to employer need. And in the North East, the LEP will seek to incentivise and reward Adult Skills Budget-funded providers according to their performance against three key metrics — job outcomes, achieving level 3 or above qualifications and moving people into higher level training — using a data-driven approach.

The deals that were agreed, as well as the process of devolution itself, has been inherently varied, with the transfer of powers based on existing local governance and accountability arrangements.

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This is reflected in the variation in scale and scope of the deals in relation to employment and skills. For example, the totality of the agreements made with Greater Manchester Box 2 , a city region with a strong history of partnership working accompanied by formal city region wide institutional arrangements, was more extensive than those made with other cities. The extent to which the deals have resulted in additional powers and flexibilities in employment and skills is also varied across localities. Some cities, for example, gained greater influence over the wider employment and skills system, while others received additional funding for individual projects.

This is also reflected in the variation of funding freedoms.


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Similarly, the deals affected the way FE colleges are funded to a greater extent in some areas than others. For example, local partners in national skills funding pilot project areas North East, Stoke and Staffordshire and West of England LEPs can recommend for up to 5 per cent of the Adult Skills Budget to be withheld from local FE colleges if they are not felt to deliver according to local need see Box 4 on Skills Incentive pilots.

What devolution deals will mean for the skills system

The Manchester and Sheffield devolution deals agree for FE provision across the city region to be redesigned. In all areas, chartered status for FE colleges will be dependent on taking account of the skills priorities of local LEPs. The Conservative government is likely to continue to take a tailored approach to devolution over the course of this parliament. The Chancellor has restated his commitment to devolving further powers, and as before these will be negotiated with individual cities and localities. He has also been explicit that devolution of any Greater Manchester-style powers will be to combined authorities with directly elected mayors, with the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill introduced to enable this.

The next section sets out the framework used to examine the effect of City Deals and Growth Deals on enabling cities and LEPs to create a more demand-led local employment and skills system. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our privacy policy. We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By clicking to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing.


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