Local authorities get bulk of funding to take charge of youth training while new, smaller agency focuses on adults

The government is to dissolve the Learning and Skills Council and reallocate most of its responsibilities to local authorities.

Local authorities will become responsible for delivering diplomas, apprenticeships and the foundation learning tier for people aged 0-19. They will be given £7bn a year to make the change, while £4bn a year will go to a new agency to provide training and skills for adults.

The new Skills Funding Agency will focus on adult learners by directing funding to higher-education providers, creating an England-wide careers service and managing a new National Apprenticeship Service.

Local authorities will work with national agencies and regional development agencies to provide planning and funding systems for the youth tier.

Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, schools and families, said: “Local authorities are in the best place to respond to the needs of young people locally. So by giving them responsibility for the funding we are putting the final pieces in place to ensure they can offer this choice.”

The proposals, which are published in a white paper, form part of the government’s plans to raise to 18 the age for leaving education and training.

The arrangements for the new agency will be subject to a consultation from 17 March to 9 June.