Comment

19.04.18

Employment support must work for all

Source: PSE April/May 2018

London’s new Work and Health Programmes (WHPs), which have now gone live, will help thousands more people get into work across the capital, notes Cllr Claire Kober OBE, chair of London Councils.

London is a vibrant, international city, with strong economic growth and a high overall rate of employment.

But too many people aren’t able to contribute to or benefit from this success. In London today, there are over half a million people who want to work but are not currently in employment.

This is also experienced unevenly – there is a 19-percentage-point gap between the borough with the highest rate of employment and the lowest.  Some demographic groups are also more likely to face greater barriers to sustainable and high-quality employment. The disability employment gap is persistently high, at 26.3%.

This is unacceptable. It’s my firm belief that everyone who wants to and is able to work should see their ambition matched with the opportunity to get a job. 

Tackling this is a priority for both national and local government, which is why I am proud that the London WHPs went live at the beginning of March.

Designed to support people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, those from specified groups needing extra tailored support (including ex-offenders, care leavers and the homeless), and the long-term unemployed to enter and stay in work, the programmes are the latest development in London’s devolution agenda. They strengthen the case for more powers, freedoms and budgets to be transferred to local leaders, who are better placed to understand and meet the needs of the capital’s residents.

The London WHPs are part of national DWP provision, but in the capital and Greater Manchester devolved funding is giving local authorities greater control over their design and delivery.

Commissioned and managed by four sub-regional groups of boroughs in London and covering a much smaller geographic area, we can bring together employment services with wider local authority provision. Devolution has allowed the sub-regions the flexibility to adopt variations on the payment models to those used in the national WHP. For example, west, central and south London have created different payment models which encourage providers to support people into roles that pay above the London Living Wage.

We have also been able to significantly expand the number of people who will be supported through the programme by match-funding from the European Social Fund. This brings the total funding available up to £135m over five years and gives us scope to support 50-55,000 people.

It was a proud moment for the capital when the four providers opened up their doors a few weeks ago, and an important step towards tackling the barriers to work that too many Londoners still experience. The culmination of over three years of sustained pan-London policy and procurement activity, the WHPs have strengthened relationships within the sub-regional partnerships of boroughs, which we believe can become the basis for future joint working and have fostered a closer working relationship with national government.

But the London WHPs will only go so far in helping the many Londoners who are out of work and who want to work. We want to be able to do more to support them.

Boroughs are keen to start a conversation with government to identify how employment services could be serving communities better. We believe local areas should have more control over the design and delivery of employment services, and over making sure they reflect the needs of their residents. This could include the creation of shared ‘employment hubs,’ which bring more local services together to create holistic support that will enable people to overcome severe barriers to work.

It’s an exciting time in London for employment services, and boroughs are ready to go further to ensure no one’s ambition is wasted.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION
W: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council leaders to unite in bid for £1.3bn growth deal

18/05/2018Council leaders to unite in bid for £1.3bn growth deal

Leaders of all six councils in the North of Wales have come together to bid for a £1.3bn boost in funding for the region. Anglesey, Gw... more >
Grenfell: review into combustable cladding falls short, LGA warns

17/05/2018Grenfell: review into combustable cladding falls short, LGA warns

The independent review of building regulations, conducted following the Grenfell tragedy, has stopped short of proposing a ban on flammable claddin... more >
Dorset merger to go ahead as government rejects 'absurd' challenge

17/05/2018Dorset merger to go ahead as government rejects 'absurd' challenge

A legal challenge submitted by Christchurch Borough Council against the planned merger of Dorset local authorities has been labelled as “an... more >
149x260 PSE Subscribe button

the raven's daily blog

The complexities of Brexit and the hunt for exceptional data scientists

16/04/2018The complexities of Brexit and the hunt for exceptional data scientists

Christopher Gallagher, public sector – SAS, says it’s imperative that organisations have the most experienced data scientists at hand. The Civil Service is feeling immense Brexit stress. Making the right decisions, analysing the ‘best interests’ of the nation as a whole, as well as discrete segments of the populati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

interviews

GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

public sector focus

The legacy of Grenfell

30/04/2018The legacy of Grenfell

PSE’s Seamus McDonnell looks at the rea... more >
Inquiry warns of ‘lack of transparency’ around child sexual abuse failures

27/04/2018Inquiry warns of ‘lack of transparency’ around child sexual abuse failures

There has been a “lack of transparency&rd... more >