Mayor announces £23m investment to help get Londoners back to work
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today delivered on his commitment to help those affected by the economic downturn by announcing a £23 million programme that will provide skills and employment support to 20,000 unemployed Londoners.
Visiting a training centre that helps Londoners back into work and ensures the capital’s businesses have access to skilled staff, the Mayor announced the 32 recommended projects that will benefit from the £23 million. The programme is delivered through the London Development Agency (LDA), and is co-financed by the LDA and the European Social Fund.
During the visit to A4e in Shepherd’s Bush, the Mayor reiterated his intention to boost the capital’s skills base through innovative and personalised training and support programmes. A4e, one of the recommended 32 projects to receive funding, is an example of the approach being taken by the Mayor to get thousands of unemployed Londoners into jobs or training.
More than 20,000 people are expected to benefit from the new programme and of those, 10,000 are expected to take up further training or jobs. A4e, along with the other successful recipients, will target people who haven’t successfully engaged with the mainstream welfare to work system and build on the knowledge and experience they have of working with people facing particular difficulties, including the long term unemployed, the newly unemployed lacking skills, refugees and the disabled. The personalised service will tailor the support to the individual, whether it is CV-writing help, interview training, skills acquisition or English language lessons.
Meeting with past and present clients at the centre the Mayor saw for himself the personalised support being offered to job seekers through workshops and one to one training, and the difference that a move away from a one-size fits all approach can make.
The Mayor said:
"I have a duty as Mayor to harness every revenue stream available that will benefit London and its workforce. This £23 million funding is a vital and welcome boost, and greatly complements the work already underway in the capital to help ensure that Londoners have the skills and attributes needed to find work.
“Yesterday, I outlined my vision to build on London’s reputation as a world leader in providing high value services, whilst continually improving its competitiveness. Giving people the skills they need to gain employment is an essential part in realising this vision. This £23 million funding will help ensure that those Londoners who are out of work will receive the support they need, and businesses have increased access to a skilled workforce.”
Chief Executive of the London Development Agency, Peter Rogers, said:
“For the first time, we are asking expert providers to tell us what works in their communities. We are committed to getting more Londoners into jobs or training and it is particularly important that we work with our partners to maintain the capital’s strength despite the economic downturn. We had an overwhelming number of applications for this funding and it was a difficult decision to identify the final recipients. We are confident that the providers selected will deliver real benefits to people in the capital.”
The LDA is working with welfare reform expert David Freud, who was recently appointed by the Mayor to advise him on measures to tackle unemployment in London. He will help to ensure this new approach to get people into work delivers greater value for money, and focuses on getting Londoners into lasting jobs.
Payments to successful projects will be made according to results achieved, with payments for the number of people who are helped into training and then further payments for those who have been in work for at least six months. Paying employment providers by results has been proven to be effective in getting the jobless the support they need, while providing value for money for the taxpayer.
After a sustained campaign led by London’s European Office in Brussels, working with the LDA and other major EU cities, European Union funds for 2007-13 were awarded to London. Deputy Mayor for Government Relations, Ian Clement, continues to build on this and is making the case for future European investment.
Notes to Editors
* More than 240 applications for funding were received as part of LDA’s second European Social Fund 2007-13 tendering round. All recommendations for funding are subject to grant agreement negotiations.
* The London Development Agency aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners - working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth.
* The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the structural funds intended to reduce inequalities between EU member states. ESF was set up to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and help raise standards of living. It aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects. The London 2007- 2013 ESF Programme is worth over £700m and is the largest of all English regions.
* Under the strategic direction of the Mayor, the London programme is delivered by five co-financing organisations including the Department for Work & Pension, the Learning & Skills Council, London Councils, the National Offender Management Service and the LDA.
* More than 20,000 people are expected to benefit from the current round of ESF funding. Of those, almost 10,000 are expected to take up further training or jobs.
* The LDA, in partnership with a range of private business and other government agencies is helping Londoners by providing:
o Free access to a range of organisations dedicated to helping Londoners find work
o Free information on vocational and academic courses available in London including apprenticeship and teacher training programmes
o Free vocational advice from dedicated careers advisers
o Free financial advice and information, including details about childcare affordability programmes and help with the cost of learning
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