LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM CABINET COMMITTEE – February 2002 AGENDA ITEM NO. 6 DRN No. CC134/01-02 SUBJECT: Access to Jobs – The Way Forward SOURCE: Chief Executives – Regeneration & Partnerships WARDS AFFECTED: All wards Purpose of report The purpose of this report is to: Provide a brief overview of the current key work areas of the Access to Jobs Partnership and to inform Cabinet Members of the proposals for the future direction of the Access to Jobs Strategy. To inform Cabinet Members of the scope of the Access to Jobs external evaluation currently being undertaken by ECOTEC Research & Consulting Ltd. Recommendations 1. The author recommends that Cabinet Members agree to the targeted sectors identified by the Access to Jobs Partnership and to the activities proposed to progress the Strategy. Originator of Report: Michelle May, Local Partnerships Co-ordinator Tel no: internal ext. 22185 E-mail address: email@example.com Local Government (Access to Information) Act, 1985 Background papers used in preparing this report: Access to Jobs Strategy Document (London Borough of Newham – Regeneration) SRB 6 Access to Excellence Bidding Document (London Borough of Newham – Regeneration) Executive Summary Background The Access to Jobs Strategy, launched in May 1997, was implemented to ensure that local residents benefited from new employment opportunities as they arose. Much work has been done since then to identify and respond to employers recruitment needs, equip local people with the skills needed to get jobs, and ensure effective job placement and guidance. By adopting a sectoral approach in relation to its work with ExCeL and its contractors, the Strategy has been particularly successful in achieving its objectives. This level of support will continue over the coming months to ensure that Newham residents continue to benefit from job growth in the hospitality, events and exhibition sectors. Continuing with its sectoral approach, the Strategy is targeting retail, construction and health and social care, in direct response to the demand from key employers in those areas. To ensure that the Strategy continues to meet the needs of employers and residents, particularly those facing most disadvantage in the labour market, the Access to Jobs team is funding an external evaluation of its impact to date. From this assessment, the Economy and Regeneration Local Action Partnership Board (LAPB), which has adopted the Access to Jobs Strategy, will devise a forward strategy with specific performance indicators aimed at further decreasing unemployment in the borough, and the upskilling of Newham residents in entry level employment. Outline of Proposals To continue the Partnership‟s sectoral work on construction and events and hospitality, and to expand it to include the health and retail sectors. To develop a forward strategy for the Partnership, which builds on best practice established, and which reflects the changing Government agenda since the Strategy‟s introduction in May 1997. Outcomes Sought To maximise training and employment opportunities for local people linked to Newham‟s growth sectors. Service Delivery/Performance Management Issues N/A Link to Vision and Strategies The Access to Jobs Strategy contributes to the Council's Vision and Urban Regeneration by ensuring that local people are skilled to meet the needs of employers, particularly in growth sectors of the economy, so that they can access employment opportunities as they arise. Local Area Impact Borough Wide Financial and Legal Implications There are no financial or legal implications Key Considerations /Issues For Discussion Cabinet Members are requested to consider the appropriateness of the proposed approach and to make recommendations to inform the development of the Access to Jobs Forward Strategy. Consultation Employers and training providers are consulted on skills and training provision in the Borough via the Economy and Regeneration Local Action Partnership Board meetings chaired by a staff member of the London East Learning and Skills Council. 1.0 Report 1.1 Introduction – The Sectoral Approach Following the success of its work with ExCeL and the growth in certain sectors in the local economy, the Access to Jobs Partnership agreed to expand the industry specific focus to its work. The main sectors identified were events and hospitality, retail, construction and health and social care. 1.2 Events and Hospitality: In the summer of 2002, the on-site Job Placement Agency and Learning & Development Centre will open, providing a unique resource to support and develop local residents employed at ExCeL, particularly those in lower skilled jobs. Pre- employment and customised training, delivered by Access to Jobs partners, will continue to equip residents with the particular skills demanded by ExCeL and its contractors, and will be further tailored to meet the needs of the hotels opening on and around the ExCeL site. All of these activities are funded through the Access to Excellence SRB 6 initiatives. 1.3 Retail: In March of this year, Tesco announced plans for a £20 million urban regeneration partnership in Beckton, as Phase 1 of its „London Initiative‟. The 55 hectare former Beckton Gas Works Site at Galleons Reach is undergoing major redevelopment by Castlemore Securities with the Tesco „Extra‟ store as the anchor to this development, which has planning permission for nearly 18,000 square metres (sqms) of shops, 8,400sqm of leisure facilities, 1,200 sqm of restaurants and a 2,360 space car park. The 24-hour store, which is due to open in October 2002, will cover 10,000 sqm, and will create over 450 jobs. 1.3.1 This partnership builds on the work of Tesco in other parts of the country, and its decision to invest in this site recognises Beckton as a key strategic location in the regeneration of East London. Since July 1999, Tesco has launched 9 pioneering regeneration partnerships in the North of England and Scotland. All partnerships focus on employability training as a means to deliver social and economic regeneration through retail development as part of a private/public partnership. 1.3.2 The Beckton Partnership: The Beckton partnership, which was formally launched at the Beckton Globe on 4 th May this year, includes the London Borough of Newham and its Access to Jobs Partnership, the Employment Service, East Thames Housing Group, the Union for Shop and Distributors Allied Workers (USDAW) and the Basic Skills Agency. The key aims of the Beckton Partnership are; to ensure that as many local residents as possible benefit from the new employment opportunities, and that the pre- employment training offered builds on the expertise and good practice that exists in Newham through the work of its Access to Jobs Partnership. 1.3.3 Pre employment training will be delivered by the Beckton Partnership to place as many Newham residents into the 400 plus vacancies available at the Tesco store, and other retail outlets at Galleons Reach from autumn 2002. 1.4 Construction: The redevelopment of the Arc of Opportunity will provide a new high quality environment for Newham residents to live and work and will dramatically change the physical, social and economic nature of the area. These developments are closely linked to the Access to Jobs Strategy to ensure that they provide quality employment opportunities for local people. The Regeneration and Partnerships Division is examining ways to place greater pressure on flagship developments to include local labour and suppliers both in construction and end use intervention needed to continually upgrade skills of the local community, to enable general job competitiveness. 1.4.1 Activities to Date - Local Labour and Supply Chain into the Planning Process The Council's Vision seeks to promote the use of local businesses and residents to ensure they have the opportunity to benefit from all developments in the area. It was felt a clause highlighting this should become part of the Council's legal planning process and referred to in all planning approvals. Following initial discussions between Regeneration and Partnership‟s Business Development Team, and Development and Planning Control the main hurdle appeared to be how best to insert an unenforceable clause in a legal document without infringing the law. 1.4.2 This has been overcome by adding a "local labour informative", prepared by the Business Development Team, into all appropriate planning documents, contracts, and tender documents issued by the Council and other organisations working in the Borough. A set of guidelines for its use has been agreed and issued to all planning officers. The clause also draws attention to the need to monitor the use of local companies and residents on all projects to ascertain the level of opportunities given to local companies, residents and supply chains. 1.4.3 In addition to the informative, a promotional leaflet is attached to all planning permissions sent to the applicants encouraging the use of local resources and offering assistance by Regeneration and Partnership‟s Business Development Team to source appropriate companies or businesses to meet their supply needs. 1.4.4 Stratford Rail Lands CTRL Construction Work This vast development, which forms part of the UK‟s largest infrastructure project, presents the Access to Jobs Partnership with a unique opportunity to deliver innovative ways of supporting local people into work. 1.4.5 Regeneration and Partnerships are currently attempting to negotiate on behalf of partners, with Skanska plc, the principle contractor working on the Stratford Station Box, to commit to the following: 1.4.6 i) Customised Training: The provision of approximately two acres of land to deliver simultaneous dumper truck and telescopic handler training. Local Employment & Training Solutions (LETS), a local „not for profit‟ training provider, has successfully bid to the London East Learning and Skills Council (Local Initiative Funding) to develop a Construction Plant Training/Assessment Centre on Stratford Rail Lands. The project is also supported by the "Stratford Tomorrow's City" Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) programme. 1.4.7 LETS currently runs a similar scheme based alongside Royal Albert Dock E16 on a piece of land licensed by the London Development Agency (LDA), delivering Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) approved training/assessment courses in Banksman/Signaller, driving 5 tonne forward tipping dumper trucks, rough-terrain telescopic handlers and lorry mounted cranes. LETS' currently holds a Certificate of Training Achievement (CTA) licence, which can be extended to alternative venues such as Stratford Rail Lands. 1.4.8 The CTA "ticket", which bears the holder's photograph and details of the items of plant operations where he/she has proved their proficiency, is universally recognised in construction and civil engineering circles as an independently assessed measure of competence. Practical driving is combined with specific areas of health and safety training, independently tested in Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) Driving Test Centres using "touch-screen" technology. The qualification is highly valued by both employee and employer. 1.4.9 There are certain requirements stipulated by the CTA scheme, such as strict instructor/candidate ratios, the nature of practical tasks undertaken (e.g. placing/removing loads on scaffolding etc.) and a minimum site area. 1.4.10 ii) Job Brokerage – The provision of an "on-site" recruitment centre within CTRL’s visitor centre, to be staffed by Employment Service personnel, seconded from Docklands Recruitment Centre. Docklands Recruitment continues to maintain a database of local residents with experience, or an interest in working in the construction industry. It works proactively with contractors to meet their recruitment needs, organising employment open days etc. The Access to Jobs team, using Public Service Agreement (PSA) funding, will also be seconding two employment service advisers to work on an outreach basis in the two Community Forum areas of Manor Park and North Woolwich and Silvertown to ensure that the opportunities are available across the Borough. 1.4.11 To date, we have had limited success in gaining full agreement to these proposals by Skanska plc and are, therefore, lobbying strongly to ensure that our requests are implemented. In addition, we are currently gathering the experiences of other CTRL 2 authorities as to their degree of success in persuading URN/RLE‟s contractors to use local labour and procurement on their sections of the construction works. This information will help us to ensure that Newham secures, as a minimum, the same benefits as those other authorities, and that in the case of each Borough failing to reach satisfactory agreements with contractors, that joint lobbying takes place. 1.5 Health and Social Care: As part of its on-going work, the Health LAPB (formerly Newham‟s Health Action Board) identified two key development areas, one of which was employability and regeneration. Within this workstream, recruitment and retention issues in the health service emerged as major areas of concern. 1.5.1 The result has been a partnership project between the Health and Economy and Regeneration LAPBs to establish a bespoke job brokerage service for Health and Social Care employers to match and train local people for specific vacancies. The project will also develop customised training packages to meet the needs of employers, and work with the Access to Jobs Partners to identify ways of accessing funding to support this training. 1.5.2 Funding A significant allocation of Year 1 Neighbourhood Renewal Funding was secured to support resources to develop the project and obtain a lease for premises to house the service. The Employment Service will provide staff for the project, which will build on the good practice established by the Docklands Recruitment Centre. 1.5.3 Premises Suitable premises, currently leased by the Primary Care Trust, have been located in Barking Road and negotiations are currently underway with the landlord regarding subleasing the building. This site would be particularly well suited as it currently houses the Health Service linked Fit for Work SRB. This has customised training and access to employment as one of its main themes. 1.5.4 Development Neighbourhood Renewal funds will be used to develop the links already made by the Fit for Work programme by seconding a couple of the current staff to work alongside staff seconded from the Employment Service. The SRB staff have been identified and it is hoped to have Employment Service staff in post in the New Year. Funding for these staff to work together to scope employers needs is available up to March 2002. 1.5.5 Initially work will concentrate on identifying the needs of key employers who have already indicated interest in the project (Newham Healthcare Trust, East London and City Mental Health Trust, Newham Primary Care Trust and London Borough of Newham Social Services). An initial analysis suggested that there might be several hundred jobs per year that could be suitable for entry-level candidates. As the service becomes more established the issue of progression will be developed, in line with the Access to Jobs Strategy‟s approach to upskilling. 1.5.6 Training Providers and other job brokerage organisations will be supported to ensure that employers‟ requirements are clearly communicated and that selection criteria and screening work appropriately. 2.0 SRB 6 Pathways to Employment As referred to in 2 above, the Access to Excellence SRB 6 programme is providing funding for the Learning and Development Centre, Job Placement Agency and customised, pre-employment training to ensure that local people are able to benefit from the employment opportunities arising from the Borough‟s new developments. 2.1 In addition to these strategic interventions, three of the Boroughs most disadvantaged neighbourhoods; Canning Town and Custom House, North Woolwich and Silvertown and Manor Park have been identified for additional, targeted initiatives aimed at tackling and breaking down the main barriers to employment as identified by residents through their Community Forum. Consultation has shown these issues to include a lack of localised provision of training, lack of affordable childcare and poor health. With this intention, the SRB 6 management team is working with the Access to Jobs team to develop a range of projects that will improve local residents‟ chances of accessing employment through a range of training, educational and health inclusion initiatives. 2.1.1 To assist with this work, informal networks, Local Enterprise and Employment Networks (LEENS), are being established in each of the Priority Community Areas highlighted above. These networks will bring together agencies working in each area such as training providers, youth workers, probation officers, housing officers etc., to identify key gaps and duplication in service provision and to agree Local Employment Action Plans which will feed directly into the Local Area Plans being developed by Neighbourhood Facilitators as part of the Neighbourhood Renewal Community Planning process. 2.1.2 These networks will be supported by the SRB 6 funded „Pathways to Employment Officer‟, recently recruited by the Regeneration and Partnerships Division. This officer will ensure integration and cohesion of his work with that of the SRB 6 funded Community Development worker and the NRF funded Neighbourhood Facilitators. 3.0 Evaluation and Future Priorities: Following an informal review of the Strategy last year, a fifth objective aimed at promoting diversity was introduced. In order to ensure that it continues to respond effectively to the needs of the local economy, Access to Jobs staff are currently commissioning an external evaluation of the Access to Jobs Strategy and its work. This review will include: 3.1 An assessment of progress towards its original objectives in terms of how successful projects have been in achieving the following: - Identifying and responding to employers' recruitment needs through its job brokerage services. - Equipping residents with skills to get jobs through customised training. - Ensuring effective job guidance and placement services through a range of signposting tools. - Helping people in low skilled/ low paid work trough a range of training and advice. - Promoting diversity. 3.2 An assessment of the success or otherwise of the Local Authority in facilitating effective partnership working. 3.3 The development of a forward strategy, which details how the it will continue to: - Tackle disadvantage across a range of programmes in the borough - Strengthen relationships with the ultimate beneficiaries and explore ways of allowing them to play a more direct role in the design of future actions, in line with the borough‟s Neighbourhood Renewal and Community Strategy. - Assess whether the original aims of the Strategy are still relevant, additional and achieve good practice for wider dissemination - Monitor the effectiveness of its work. 3.4 The evaluation will be conducted through a combination of the following: analysis of secondary data, analysis and evaluation of project data; in-depth qualitative interviews with key partner organisations; and focus group interviews with beneficiaries. 4.0 Conclusions The Access to Jobs Strategy continues to act as one of the key mechanisms for delivering the Council‟s vision that “by 2010 Newham will be a major business location and a place where people will choose to live and work”. Its focus on key sectors in the local and sub-regional economies ensures that the Partnerships resources are effectively targeted and that training and job brokerage services delivered in the borough are successfully tailored to their needs. A key focus in the New Year will be the development of a forward Strategy which will build upon the lessons learned and best practice already established, and one that will continue to be responsive to a changing labour market and the to the needs of the borough‟s diverse communities.