Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has published proposals for London’s £560m skills and employment strategy.
The mayor’s London Skills and Employment Board has set itself some challenging targets, including increasing London’s employment rate to 72% by 2013, reducing the number of Londoners with no qualifications to 11% by 2013, and increasing participation in training of those in work to 15% over the same period.
As part of the strategy, London businesses will be encouraged to sign a new ’employer offer’. In return for guaranteeing job interviews to the long-term unemployed, job agencies will provide initial candidate screening and train prospective staff in specific skills employers need to accelerate the recruitment process.
Livingstone said: “Significant new employment opportunities are emerging linked to major developments including Crossrail and the 2012 Games.
“However, while London employees are considerably more productive than the rest of the UK, Londoners experience some of the highest levels of worklessness in the country, with particular inequalities in black and ethnic minority communities, as well as among women and people with disabilities.”
Consultation on the proposals runs until 31 January 2008.