The Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Jobs, Cllr Matthew Bennett, introduced the report and noted that the borough had benefited greatly from investment and growth in recent years. There had been a 30% increase in jobs since 2005 and unemployment had reduced by half to 5% in 2017. Despite this, the benefits of growth needed to be spread more evenly across different parts of the community. The proposed Employment and Skills SPD set out the Council’s approach to securing appropriate contributions through Section 106 agreements towards employment and skills initiatives.
The Lead Commissioner for Welfare, Employment and Skills, John Bennett, said the SPD aimed to ensure that 25% of all jobs created through development in the borough be secured by local residents. This included both end use jobs and those created during the construction phase.
Members welcomed the SPD and commended the target for end user jobs. Many people with disabilities often had the skills to work but struggled to secure roles for other reasons. Continued efforts should be made to address this issue.
John Bennett noted that some groups were disproportionately affected by unemployment and said the SPD captured this issue, ensuring apprenticeships and train-to-work opportunities were focused at those furthest from the jobs market. Adherence to the policy would be closely monitored and developers who failed to fulfil their Section 106 obligations would be liable to financial penalties.
Cllr Lib Peck noted the considerable achievement that employment had increased from 71.6% in 2012 to 83.1% in 2017; the highest ever employment rate in Lambeth. However, tailored support was required for the most vulnerable members of society. It was important to use the SPD to provide clarity on the Council’s ambitions and deliver targets moving forward.
It was RESOLVED:
1) To note the representations received in response to public consultation on the Draft Employment and Skills SPD and subsequent Revised Draft Employment and Skills SPD; and to note officers’ assessment of the representations set out in the Consultation Statement in Appendix One of the report.
2) To adopt the Final Draft Employment and Skills SPD as set out in Appendix Three of the report.
3) To instruct officers to take the necessary steps to publicise its decision in the event that Cabinet resolves to adopt the Final Draft Employment and Skills SPD.