A new initiative has been launched in a bid to equip people across five south London boroughs with the tools needed to find better, well-paid jobs.

The South London Skills and Employment Board comprises people and organisations with a range of backgrounds from Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, and Sutton.

Board members will now be tasked with working to help businesses and other employers by encouraging them to invest in their staff and support career progression.

It’s in response to people in areas across south London who have high skill levels and well-paid jobs, but risk being “left behind”.

This is said to affect both their income and well-being.

Though the scheme is not totally unique as it follows after the formation of similar boards in London.

The South London Skills and Employment Board includes business leaders, training providers and colleges, as well as voluntary sector and council representatives.

The Government will soon be devolving the £311 million adult education budget (AEB) across the capital to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

This includes funding courses like vocational training, adult community learning (ACL), and English speakers of other languages (ESOL).

Next year, when it comes into force, sub-regions will then be challenged to shaping how it is spent.

Sutton Council leader Cllr Ruth Dombey said: “Everyone, no matter what their personal and family circumstances, deserves the chance to gain their qualifications and skills needed to become employed and further their chosen career.

“By working together as a partnership, and with advice from experts in business and education, we can identify the priorities we need to focus on in south London and give our residents the best possible chance to prosper.

“This is an exciting opportunity for everyone living in south west London.”