Cllr Jacqui Dyer is the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills, and Community Safety and a councillor in Vassall ward.
Lambeth is always changing – both in terms of our population and the local economy. This has been brought into sharp relief by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and the economy. For decades, Lambeth has been a byword for opportunity – a place where people from all around the world, have travelled to with the intent of pursuing their dreams.
The impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of residents has been severe, with over 13,000 more residents claiming unemployment benefits, with one of the highest rates being amounts our 18-24 year olds- 11%. 56,300 residents have been furloughed at some point during the pandemic, with many being uncertain whether they will get to return to their jobs.
We already knew that large sections of our communities had been effectively excluded from the opportunities created by economic growth and that wider labour market changes have seen many have to rely on low quality or insecure work, juggling multiple jobs to meet the high costs of housing and raising a family in the borough. Many of those communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID. Too many children in our borough are still leaving school lacking basic skills and qualifications, hampering their chances of getting a decent job or building a successful career in the future. For others the situation can be much worse, with opportunities to acquire new skills later in life even harder to come by. This leaves many of our residents stuck in low-paid jobs with little chance of improving their prospects or those of their family.
We will increase the supply and quality of the skills training available to our residents of all ages and backgrounds, working with our schools, colleges, higher education institutions and other providers. We want all residents to be able to be supported to unlock their potential, to access work experience, apprenticeships, and good quality jobs, as well as assisting those who want to start their own businesses. We are also determined to create more jobs in the green economy, showing our commitment to tackle climate change and our determination to prepare residents for the industries that are likely to grow over the coming years. We have much to do. This strategy sharpens the focus for us to realise our ambitious vision.
Cllr Jacqui Dyer