Location London Borough of Islington
Islington is located in the heart of London the dominant driver in the UK economy and a key centre of global economic activity. Central
London is the largest and most productive centre of employment in Britain. The borough is adjacent to the City of London to the south, the
global centre of financial services, with neighbouring boroughs Camden to the West, Haringey to the North and Hackney to the East.
Islington‟s population displays extreme economic and social polarisation, to the extent that it is said that there are “two Islingtons”. The
borough is characterised by areas and pockets of affluence and of multiple deprivation, often side-by-side. Familiar inner city London issues
of high numbers of people with English as a second language, low qualifications, alcohol and drug abuse problems, etc, and high housing
and childcare costs also exist. Transport links are good throughout the borough.
2. Employment, earnings, and working age benefit statistics.
Total employee jobs number 187,700, of which 148,500 are full-time and 39,200 are part-time. 74.1% of the Working Age Population are
economically active with 53.4% employed and 13.4% self-employed. Average Gross Weekly Pay for full-time workers is £687.80. As at
August 2010, 7,165 residents were claiming JSA - 1,630 of these were aged 18-24, 4,440 were aged 25-49, and 1,075 over 50. 4,160 had
been claiming for up to 6 months, 1,425 for between 6 and 12 months, and 1,570 (21.9%) for over 12 months. As at February 2010, 12,140
residents were claiming ESA/IB, 4,650 lone parents were claiming IS, and 1,020 others were on income related benefits.
Median household income in the borough at £32,000, is lower than the London average but is higher than the national average. This equates
to a gross annual income of the local population of some £4 billion. Around one in six households have an annual gross income of over
£60,000 but a similar proportion has a gross income of under £15,000. Over 11,000 residents have debts of between £5-15,000 and a
further 13,000 people have unsecured debts exceeding £15,000.
3. Customer profile.
Islington has the second highest population density in the country with a population of just under 200,000 in an area of under 15km . The
population is relatively youthful with an unusually large proportion of 20-35 year olds, many of whom have moved into the borough having
found - or in search of - employment in London. There are fewer children and older people in Islington than in London as a whole, and
significantly fewer than the national average. Over a quarter of residents come from BME communities and a further fifth are white but non-
British. Three-quarters of Islington‟s population (73%) is of working age, which is greater than the proportion in London (67%) and England
(62%). Since 2001 the population of the borough has grown by 11%, and is predicted to increase by a further 12% by 2026. A significant
proportion of Islington residents are social housing tenants (44%) while 32% of residents are owner occupiers and 24% are in the private
There are high levels of deprivation within Islington with 62% of residents living in areas of the borough ranked amongst the most deprived
10% of the country. Islington is the 8th most deprived local authority district nationally (out of 354) and 4th most deprived London borough.
There are nearly 28,000 people of working age claiming benefits, of whom a quarter claim Job Seekers Allowance. Registered
unemployment at 5% is higher than the London and national averages. 42% of children are dependent on parents who claim out of work
benefits – the second highest level of child poverty in the country.
The borough has a total resident population of 191,800 of which 144,800 (75.5%) are aged between 16 and 64. 56.8% are White British,
12.9% other white, 6.0% Black or Black British: African, 5.7% White Irish, 4.9% Black or Black British: Caribbean, 2.4% Asian or Asian
British: Bangladeshi, 1.75% Chinese or Other Ethnic Group and 1.6% Asian or Asian British: Indian. Unemployment black spots can be
found across the borough, but are more significant in Finsbury Park, Tollington, Holloway, St George's, Highbury West, and Caledonian
4. Principal Industries/ key employers.
Islington is home to over 10,000 businesses, most of which have fewer than 20 employees. The number of businesses in Islington has
remained broadly similar over the last 5 years but with slight fluctuations in the intervening period. The number of employee jobs located in
businesses in Islington has continually increased over the last 10 years. Data shows that there were 161,000 jobs in Islington in April 2008
and this has subsequently increased to 176,117 jobs in April 2010. It is estimated that approximately 30% of jobs are held by Islington
residents. VAT data shows that Islington has a relatively stable number of businesses but has a higher „churn rate‟ than England and the
UK. Islington has been gradually losing its share of businesses when compared to other geographical areas over the last 10 years. Whilst
Inner London and London have been losing share as well over this period, Islington has been losing share of businesses at a faster rate. The
share of employees has however increased, albeit marginally. Islington has the highest proportion of employment in knowledge driven
sectors of Central London boroughs and has seen the greatest growth in this area increasing from 41%
of total employment in 1998 to 54% in 2008.
The top five sectors in Islington (in terms of number of employee jobs) are:
-Real estate, renting and business activities
-Health and social work
-Manufacturing (including publishing and printing)
-Wholesale and retail trade
Some sectors (construction, hotels and restaurants, community and social care) make up a higher proportion of enterprises but a smaller
number of employee jobs. Other sectors (financial intermediation, real estate renting and business activities, health and social work) make
up a smaller proportion of enterprises but provide a larger number of jobs. Islington has a higher proportion of employee jobs in real estate,
renting & business activities and financial intermediation than England, London and Inner London. Islington has a lower proportion of
employee jobs in construction, Other community and social care and hotels & restaurants when compared to England, London and Inner
London. Islington is home to three designated town centres, Angel, Archway and Nag‟s Head. These make up the bulk of Islington‟s
shopping and retail offer and represent 9.6% of Islington‟s businesses and 9.1% of Islington‟s employee jobs. The number of businesses in
town centres peaked in 2005, although the number of employees has increased by 34% since 2003.
The borough will be affected by the redevelopment of the Kings Cross Central Site, as well other major proposals at Bishopsgate Goods
Yard, the Olympic site/ Stratford City and Cricklewood/Brent Cross. These will create opportunities for Islington‟s businesses providing
supply services and employment opportunities for the borough‟s residents, but are also likely to create competition for some of the borough‟s
5. Key Partnerships.
The Islington Strategic Partnership (ISP) is the local strategic partnership (LSP) for the London Borough of Islington. Its purpose is to
improve the quality of life of local people and to create a community in where people from very diverse backgrounds, comprising extremes of
advantage and disadvantage all have a chance to fulfil their potential. The ISP works together to tackle local issues. They bring together at a
local level the different parts of the public sector as well as the private, business, community and voluntary sectors to support each other and
work together to improve the quality of life for local people.
Over the past years, ISP partners have worked together to deliver better homes, better education results, improved health and wellbeing,
safer neighbourhoods, greener, cleaner open spaces and an increased sense of community engagement and participation.
The ISP is responsible for delivering the Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS). This sets out the vision for Islington over the next 10 to 15
years. It is also responsible for overseeing delivery of Islington's Local Area Agreement 2008-11.
The work of the Islington Strategic Partnership is delivered through 5 theme groups or partnerships:
Social and Economic Wellbeing Theme Group who are responsible for tackling worklessness, supporting the improvement of
local skills and increasing economic activity in Islington. Its aim is to improve employment opportunities and economic development
within Islington. The group aligns funding from a number of sources – including Working Neighbourhood Fund and London
Development Agency (LDA) funding. It uses this to commission a variety of projects to tackle worklessness, local skills development
and promote economic activity. This includes funding for key regeneration service economic development work. The work of the
Theme Group is led and managed by the council‟s regeneration service and includes members from Skills Funding Agency, London
Development Agency, Jobcentre Plus, Business Link London, City and Islington College, Islington Council, Voluntary sector partners
The Children’s Board who are responsible for improving the well being of children and young people in Islington. This has
involved commissioning work around employment for NEETS and those in danger of becoming NEETS
The Environment and Sustainability Theme Group who are responsible for improving Islington‟s environment and ensuring
Islington is a green and sustainable borough.
The Health and Older People’s Partnership Board who are responsible for improving the health and wellbeing of Islington‟s
The Safer Islington Partnership who are responsible for improving community safety and reducing crime across the borough.
Again some of their projects have addressed employability and support to unemployed residents or ex offenders
Additionally the ISP supports an active Neighbourhood Coordinators group, focussing at a local level on issues related to poverty and
disadvantaged communities, and there is work currently taking place to develop and support a number of local centres as community hubs.
The London Borough of Islington Strategic Planning and Regeneration Team has also convened occasional borough-wide meetings ,
involving Islington Working, Islington Working for Parents, Jobcentre Plus, Local Employer organisations, Voluntary and Community
organisations. These look at the wider agenda of worklessness affecting people on various state benefits and the ways of progressing them
Work With Businesses
The borough also benefits from a number of Town Centre Managers and an active Business Partnership Team, offering an interface with
local employers. Through a dedicated Section 106 team, London Borough of Islington has been successful in brokering many work
placements and local labour opportunities on building sites and in the end use of large scale local developments
Greater London Enterprise Group - GLE
GLE Group is a leading provider of services, products and investment in finance for business, enterprise development, business
accommodation and consultancy services. Bringing innovative and commercial approaches to economic growth we successfully unlock the
potential of people and growing businesses. GLE Group is wholly owned by the 33 London boroughs.
6. Local developments and initiatives.
Islington Working and Islington Working for Parents
Islington Working is led and co-ordinated by the Regeneration and Community Partnerships Department within Islington Council. The
programme offers information, advice and guidance, training and employment support to local residents and has been operating for the past
15 years. Job seekers are offered customised one-to-on support around their needs in order to progress to sustainable employment. In
addition, needs in housing, debt management, drug or alcohol abuse, etc are taken into account and referrals to appropriate partners made.
The Job Brokerage element of the project focuses on developing links with employers for vacancies, work placements and apprenticeship
opportunities as well as around developing flexible working practices and encouraging equalities within the workplace. Programmes led by
Islington have operated in an area far larger than the borough itself and in partnership across borough boundaries. For example: leading on
an employment advice scheme for residents in Camden, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea; a project for long term unemployed with the
7 boroughs of Central London Forward; £5 million LDA Area Programme lead for Employment in
Camden and Islington; a programme of training and employment support tailored to working in construction; plus specialist programmes
and projects targeting ex-offenders, those with mental health difficulties, lone parents, parents with young children and people on
The programme supports over 4,000 people per year with skills, employability and job hunting support and have excellent working relations
with many local and national employers across several sectors including retail, hospitality, local development sites, transport development
and are regularly contacted by employers keen to work with us again.
Islington Working for Parents is part of Islington Working and aims to help specifically parents of young children get the confidence, skills
and practical help to prepare for the move into work. This service also works closely with Sure Start Children‟s Centres and Jobcentre Plus
Advisers to support parents back into work.
Both these services work with a number of local partners and hold directories of local services, which need to be constantly updated.
EC1 New Deal for Communities funding programme offers employment support and vocational training for residents in the EC1 New Deal
for Communities part of the borough. This is in its final year , ending June 2011, and is currently planning its legacy activities
The local Housing Association Group, Islington Housing Group have recently established a borough wide working group around
worklessness , looking at both support to local workless residents and job creating through new initiatives such as low carbon projects.
7. Voluntary sector provision.
The Islington Community Network promotes the interests of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Islington, to improve the relationship
between the third sector and the public and private sector, often through the Islington Strategic Partnership. The Network provides a forum
for the third sector to share information and resources, and to identify needs and build capacity within the sector. It is facilitated and
supported by Voluntary Action Islington (VAI) and funded by the Islington Strategic Partnership.
The Islington Climate Change Partnership was established to oversee and coordinate carbon-cutting efforts in the borough. They have
appointed the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to carry out a baseline study of the borough‟s current energy use. CSE has continued to
support the Islington Climate Change Partnership through annual monitoring of carbon emissions.
Connect - Help on Your Doorstep aims to improve the life opportunities of individuals and families that live in Connect areas by helping
individuals and families identify the issues that are acting as barriers to their self improvement, particularly in terms of training and
employment, raising their awareness of the services that exist in and around the area to help them, actively helping people – particularly
those who are „hardest to reach‟ - to access these services (though referrals) and to extract the maximum benefit from them through pro-
active advocacy and developing a network of provider agencies, empowering individuals and families to take control of their lives.
Islington Law centre has produced a directory of advice provision in the borough which is currently often confusing and patchy. Key providers
include Islington Law Centre, Islington People‟s Rights, Islington CAB, Islington GPs Surgeries, Homes for Islington Advice Project, South
Islington Advice Project:, and a number of Community Based Advice. Additionally the council will be funding a new CAB service in borough
from 1 April 2011. Funding sources for these activities to date include the council‟s advice budget , the Islington Strategic Partnership, the
Cripplegate Trust, the Islington Debt Coalition, Legal Aid funding .
Other Voluntary sector provision
There are up to 30 local groups and consortia offering support and guidance unemployed residents, ranging from informal advice and
signposting to delivery of accredited employment related training. To receive up to date information about these many activities it would be
necessary to contact the council Regeneration and Community Partnerships unit for a snapshot at any given time of the provision available.
Activities are based in community centres, schools , specialist projects and youth clubs, and can be generic, borough wide or very
specifically targeted at geographical , ethnic or other communities
8. List the ESF Co-financing Organisations (not the suppliers) within the district.
DWP, SFA / YPLA, LDA, London Councils and National Offender Management Service
9. Other issues which may impact on the successful delivery of new programmes.
Islington has a very active voluntary sector with a long track record in working with the local community. These organisations are now facing
funding crises and whilst keen to participate in the Work Programme, cannot afford to share the risks associated with the performance
related rewards of the Work programme contracts. The local Housing Sector also offers a wide number of initiatives usually limited to their
own tenants. Any new agencies should be made aware of these existing networks, partnerships and community hubs as the best place to
reach those furthest from the labour market. As with any inner London borough, costs of housing, transport and childcare, coupled with low
skills levels, are the key barriers to gaining and sustaining employment for Islington/s workless communities, and budgets will need to be
allocated to addressing this within the costings of any contractor working in the borough.
10. Jobcentre Plus offices
Town Address Postcode
Barnsbury Barnsbury Jobcentre, 1 Barnsbury Road, London N1 0EX
Finsbury Park Finsbury Park Jobcentre, 52/53 Medina Road, London N7 7JX
Highgate Highgate Jobcentre, 1A Elthorne Road, London N19 4AL
11. List all data sources used when completing this document.
www.nomisweb.co.uk (Office for National Statistics)
www.neighbourhoodstatistics.gov.uk (Office for National Statistics)
Islington Local Economic Assessment 2010 and all sources quoted within it