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CABINET COMMITTEE – NEW WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

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					                          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: michelle.may@newham.gov.uk

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.

				
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