Ambition: Skills and employment
Our research shows employment across Local London will grow rapidly over the next decade.
But the sub-region also has greater skills challenges compared with the rest of London.
So we need to understand and support our current skills offer. We need to design a future offer relevant to emerging needs and markets.
The interplay of local, regional, national and international business means we need to be proactive in enabling sustainable enterprise that provides good-quality employment, with staff paid the London Living Wage.
All Local London members recognise the need to encourage businesses to start, grow and invest in the sub-region. To do this, our member boroughs are:
- providing good-quality advice
- creating affordable, connected spaces for local entrepreneurs to embrace new opportunities
- producing an attractive environment to encourage existing businesses to locate or invest here
- Enfield is creating state-of-the-art spaces for businesses in the Brimsdown and Montagu industrial estates
- Havering is facilitating the expansion of the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) and capitalising on the London Riverside
We have an agreed Skills Strategy that was developed to align with the Greater London Authority (GLA) strategy.
This sets out key employment markets where we want to have impact:
- health and social work
- accommodation and food services
- administrative and support services
- cultural and creative industries
To deliver on our Skills Strategy we have identified 5 key areas for further work:
- English as a second language (ESOL)
- construction skills
- enterprise support
- creative and cultural skills
- health and social care
Our business growth is mixed.
We have strong initiatives around start-ups and SMEs. For example, Waltham Forest has the fastest growth rate for SMEs in the capital. Many of our boroughs have high percentages of small, family-run enterprises.
But the challenge is that many businesses are not sustainable. So we need to look at how we grow our established business base to support local employment and strong local economies.
We want to invest in skills but we want our businesses to recognise the benefit to their own futures of doing this.
Smarter land use
The use of industrial land is important in defining the types of businesses that could emerge in different parts of the sub-region.
Shared policy changes around the use of land could have significant benefits to all parts of Local London.
There are cooperative schemes, like one in Greenwich which is looking at town centres and market use. Applying community-led approaches to local participation will support our inclusive growth agenda.
Local London could be the enabler around sharing ideas from individual boroughs and conducting proper strategic analysis to generate a region-wide approach to business sustainability.
The government has launched its Integrated Communities Action Plan. This emphasises the importance of place-based solutions and local networks.
It also makes a commitment to work across all layers of government to support this approach.
So Local London has an opportunity to take a lead in supporting cohesive and resilient communities across our boroughs, planning places that bring people
In recent years, we’ve seen the decline of community services such as community transport, libraries and leisure services. This has added to the problems of isolation and loneliness facing older residents and of crime and anti-social behaviour for young people.
The Local London partnership is an opportunity to look at these issues holistically across groups of boroughs – increasing value, sharing opportunities and shaping great communities.
Enabling our third sector
Working with the third sector we can understand how current funding mechanisms and procurement impacts upon local delivery. Doing this work across multiple boroughs enables us to shape the market as well as create connections between organisations.
Many parts of our third-sector work across borough boundaries and must engage multiple times with local authorities. Looking for ways to make this engagement consistent will strengthen the third sector and help each borough achieve its own outcomes.
Crime and anti-social behaviour
Knife crime, ‘county lines’ and gang violence have impact beyond borough boundaries. We need to work with the GLA and central government to respond.
There is also an important role for us around tackling terrorism and creating shared knowledge and responses. By advocating for more joined-up approaches and matching resources, this will have benefit across multiple boroughs.
We want to build on some of the cross-borough activity already underway particularly as police governance has changed. The roll-out of data monitoring by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) lends itself to a coordinated response to capturing information and creating sub-regional responses. We can also build on campaigns such as ‘Enough is Enough’ in Waltham Forest, which aims to tackle gang culture.
Social sector and communities
Local London can use its reach and scale to enable community programmes.
A good opportunity to support this is through crowdfunding platforms. There are opportunities to build match funding pots against these platforms.
So, as part of our strategy to underpin and support the social sector and communities across Local London, we will look at how cross-borough crowdfunding can enable community capacity.