Unemployed Londoners need more help from local councils to get work

Councils across London need to do more to help unemployed people into work, according to a new report.

Research by lobby group London Councils found that local authorities across the capital were employing a range to initiatives to get jobless people back into work. But the Going To Work report concluded councils could work more closely and join up policy internally.

The report looked at how well regeneration departments in 11 boroughs, which often commission or run employment and training services, work with other parts of the council, such as children’s services and housing, other agencies, such as the health service, and employers to support residents into work.

Stuart Fraser, London Councils executive member for economic development, said: “Concerns about health, housing or childcare can prevent jobless people from developing their skills and seeking work, so council departments must work together to remove the barriers between unemployed people and the jobs market.

“Good communication between council staff and strong links with other agencies and employers are the key to helping people who may otherwise slip through the net to equip themselves with the skills they need to find work.”

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Councils should provide more training for front-line staff so they can refer people to the relevant employment services
  • Councils should offer more opportunities to jobless people in their own workforces as well as apprenticeships and work experience
  • Councils should work more closely with other organisations, including employers, primary care trusts and registered social landlords.

The 11 London boroughs involved in the research were: Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Redbridge and Southwark.

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