Cllr Jacqui Dyer is the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety and is a councillor in Vassall ward.
Apprenticeship Week, taking place this year from the 8th to the 14th of February, is always a reminder for us regarding the importance of opportunities that offer residents a chance to get on the job ladder. Too many of our residents have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, with many losing their insecure jobs and others having to juggle multiple jobs to make ends meet. Due to the pandemic, almost 40,000 residents are now on Universal Credit, which is double the number prior to March 2020, the number of vacancies are half of what we would normally observe, and we have one of the highest rates of residents on furlough in London.
As our youngest residents have been losing their jobs in a disproportionate manner, we will be offering through the Kickstart programme 48 internal roles to those aged 16-24 in receipt of Universal Credit, with a further 66 placements provided by local employers. We will also establish four Lambeth Made Youth Hubs, throughout the borough, improving pathways into education, training and employment for young people aged 16-25. Between 2018 to 2022, we will have offered 240 internal apprenticeships at Lambeth Council.
We have also made training and education easier to access for adults learners, with 2433 local residents enrolled in the 2019/2020 in 341 courses that have now been moved online to ensure that the pandemic does not disrupt anyone’s determination to learn.
As your Labour Council, it is our responsibility to be ambitious about improving the life chances of our residents. That’s why we’re investing £5,000,000 from Lambeth’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) to fund employment, skills, and training programmes from October 2020 to March 2024. Our priorities have been shaped in the form of the Skills and Employment Strategy, approved at Cabinet on 30 November, which enable us to target programmes and opportunities at those who need them most. As we are committed to tackling climate change, many of the jobs that we will be providing training for are green jobs, with 50 Lambeth residents starting an innovative pilot programme in March 2021.
But we can’t do this alone- we need the Government to ensure that the furlough scheme continues so that it can support jobs in the worst-hit sectors, leaving no-one behind (as it was initially the case with those who are self-employed), and driving job creation through accelerating progress towards a zero-carbon economy and increasing access to training opportunities. Support for businesses has also often fallen short, therefore we used money that we raised from taxes on new development in the borough to set up a £4.2m Local Economy Hardship Fund that specifically supported over 300 small businesses that had fallen through the gaps. And we have not stopped there – our Economic Resilience Fund is making a further £6.5m available to support businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic.
Cllr Jacqui Dyer