Employment promise is just the job
March 18, 2011
Every year I make a number of promises to residents and we’ll be reporting on the commitments I made last year in future editions of the Newham Mag. This year the most important promise I’ve made is to protect residents from the savage cuts being imposed on Newham by the government. One of the best ways to do that is to work hard to get as many people as possible into jobs.
Over the past three years, Workplace, the council-led employment support service, has helped almost 6,000 people into work. Over the next year I want to get another 4,000 to 5,000 into work and 1,500 on to skills training courses so that they have the best chance of securing new and existing jobs.
An important opportunity in the next year comes in September with the opening of Stratford City – the largest urban shopping mall in Europe. By the time the development opens, it is estimated that 8,500 retail jobs will be up for grabs. There are already 250 job opportunities for the long term unemployed to be offered at the new John Lewis store. I want local people to get them.
The council is working with various employers to set up a retail and hospitality academy called The Skills Place. This will support what we are doing through Workplace to provide people with the skills required to get work, and employers with people who are job ready when the centre opens.
I recently met employers at the new shopping centre to stress to them how important it is that local people can access the jobs being created there. The response I got from them was very encouraging. They want to recruit locally and we must ensure they get the right people at the right time.
Our experience has shown that working alongside employers makes it easier to meet their needs and maximise the number of local people getting jobs. The opening of our third Workplace centre in East Ham to join those in Stratford and Canning Town shows just how effective the scheme is.
These are exciting times for the whole of the borough. It must be local people who benefit most from the developments taking place.