Workforce, Pensions and Training

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

Essex council announces £1bn construction deal

22/03/2019Essex council announces £1bn construction deal

An Essex council has announced a £1bn contract in a joint venture to regenerate council sites and deliver new homes and commercial faciliti... more >
Council to pull out of government schools improvement body over rising costs and ‘major concerns’ over poor management

22/03/2019Council to pull out of government schools improvement body over rising costs and ‘major concerns’ over poor management

A Welsh council is to pull out of a government-run schools improvement scheme over concerns about how it is run and fears that the quadrupling of... more >
Councils' legal challenge against Buckinghamshire merger process rejected

22/03/2019Councils' legal challenge against Buckinghamshire merger process rejected

An application from three district councils for a judicial review of the merger plans to create a single unitary council for Buckinghamshire has ... more >

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 >

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 >
Budget meeting descends into chaos as Manchester council raids reserves

11/03/2019Budget meeting descends into chaos as Manchester council raids reserves

Manchester City Council is to raid its reserves and raise council tax in a bid to make £15m worth of savings in a meeting that spiralled out of control and led to councillors “aggress... more >
‘Betrayed’ foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey council

08/03/2019‘Betrayed’ foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey council

The foster parents of the Parson Green bomber are suing Surrey County Council for negligence after the authority placed him in their home without telling them he had been “trained to kill b... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this year’s Spending Review. Our #CouncilsCan campaign to influence this year’s Spending Review is well underway and gathering momentum. The money local governm... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest concerns for local councils in recent years, leading to some innovative... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, describes the benefits of... more >
National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

11/03/2019National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment was released in July 2018, making a variety of recommenda... more >
SARS II: Recovery made easy

11/03/2019SARS II: Recovery made easy

Paul Bentley, of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), introduces us to the Spend Analysis Recovery Framework: a no win no fee means of carrying ou... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News