Issue - meetings

Jobs for All Scrutiny Commission

Meeting: 25/06/2018 - Cabinet (Item 5)

5 Jobs for All Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Key decision

All wards

 

Deputy Leader of the Council (Jobs, Skills and Performance), Councillor Jack Hopkins

Sue Foster: Strategic Director Neighbourhoods and Growth

 

Contact: Sandra Roebuck, Director Growth, Planning and Employment, sroebuck@lambeth.gov.uk, 020 7926 2594

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Atkins, Labour, introduced the report as a member of the Jobs for All Scrutiny Commission that had been chaired by Councillor Matt Parr. Lambeth had high levels of employment but a significant amount of people continued to find it difficult to access the jobs market. The Commission had assessed existing Council policy that helped people into work and met with a range of charities and social enterprises that demonstrated good practice in this field. She noted that people with multiple barriers to working often needed one-to-one support to help them into employment. She also said that the Action Plan was positive but could be more specific about dates and targets.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council (Jobs, Skills and Performance), Councillor Jack Hopkins, said he would work alongside Councillor Atkins and other cabinet members to refine and implement the Commission’s recommendations. The issue of access to the jobs market was multi-faceted and impacted on all parts of the Council. Lambeth Council already had a strong record with assisting people into work and operated a successful shared programme with Southwark and Lewisham Councils. It would continue to learn from good practice in other authorities where businesses had positively engaged with charities and social organisations. The ultimate goal was to enable people to be independent and self-supporting; in turn improving their quality of life. 

 

The Lead Commissioner for Welfare, Employment and Skills, John Bennett, said the recommendations provided a helpful framework and that further detail would follow when the issue returned to Overview and Scrutiny. He then noted the extent of assistance already available in Lambeth. The Council needed to identify any gaps in the current provision and decide which charities or enterprises could produce the best results for the borough.

 

Councillor Becca Thackray, Green Party, addressed the committee and said the issue centred on supporting the long-term unemployed into work. She noted high rates of young people leaving care who were not in education, employment or training before questioning whether an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) had been carried out in relation to the closure of Brixton Job Centre. She then welcomed Recommendation 28 to extend and support internet access in libraries and community centres but said the ‘mystery shopper’ element of the proposal was inadequate.

 

Cabinet members then made the following observations and directed questions to officers:

·         The EIA should be picked up and monitored by officers. However work conducted with Lewisham and Southwark had recently asserted that job centres were not necessarily the best vehicle for helping long-term unemployed into work. Charities and social enterprises had often proved more effective at providing an end-to-end advisory service.

·         The Council’s procurement process currently required the consideration of social value, however the Commission’s report provided a good opportunity to extend this to include the evaluation of social value.

·         Lambeth had a strong record assisting people into work and was delivering clear results through the tri-borough programme with Southwark and Lewisham. Lambeth had one of the best employment rates in London,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5