A MAJOR landmark for South Yorkshire’s devolution ‘journey’ was reached this week as the providers who are set to deliver adult skills provision have been announced.

The Sheffield City Region will now take responsibility for the devolved Adult Education Budget, a £36m pot for providers of adult education in Barnsley and the rest of South Yorkshire.

Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton, who is also the chair of the Sheffield City Region education, skills and employability board, said: “The training providers will work with us to shape South Yorkshire’s skills agenda to meet our unique needs.”

Leaders believe that local control over the adult education budget will help people improve their skills as a local system can be transformed to focus on the needs of local businesses and the industries that are predicted to grow in the future.

But plans have come under fire from local providers who missed out on contracts instead taken by ‘out-of-town’ companies with few links to the area.

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Dan Jarvis, Barnsley Central MP and the mayor of South Yorkshire, added: “Our wider skills strategy plans mean there will be 30,000 more people with higher level skills by 2041.

“This is the power of devolution and we’re using it to meet the needs of South Yorkshire’s people and local businesses as we renew our region.”