Workplace hits the jobs jackpot

18 April 2012 in Business
The number of Newham residents helped into work over the last year has now passed the 5,000 mark thanks to Workplace, the council's job-brokerage scheme. This is the largest number placed in employment by a council-led scheme in a single year.
The initiative has now helped more than 12,000 residents into employment since it was set up five years ago.

Workplace is helping to tackle Newham's high levels of unemployment by ensuring that residents benefit from taking advantage of opportunities created by regeneration projects across the borough.

Newham is undergoing a radical transformation with investments totalling over £15bn and some 62,000 new jobs being created from sites like the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and their legacy, Stratford City, the £600 million regeneration of Canning Town and Custom House and the improvements to the Royal Docks.

Workplace has already worked with nearly 800 employers by providing them with a free service to help them fill their vacancies and also provides free advice and training to the borough's residents.

New developments such as Westfield Stratford City, the largest urban shopping centre in Europe and Aspers casino, the UK's first super casino have worked with Workplace to commission training and recruit to their job vacancies.

This has resulted in 300 local people employed in Aspers and more than 2,500 employed in stores such as John Lewis and Marks and Spencer within the shopping centre.

Newham Council's strong partnership with Westfield has also seen the creation of The Skills Place Newham, a retail academy and leisure academy managed by Seetec and funded through a range of partners.

Based in the heart of the shopping centre, the academy offers pre and post-employment training programmes in the fields of hospitality, customer services, retail and business administration. It has already trained more than 1,500 people since its doors opened last September.

Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham, the Olympic Host Borough, said: "Workplace's achievement to date is phenomenal and is set to continue with the many upcoming opportunities in the borough.

“Not only has Workplace been instrumental in providing a coherent programme to tackle worklessness helping to transform residents lives by providing them with employment and fulfilling careers."

"Our highly successful approach is based on partnership working, building residents skills and resilience by tackling the root causes of disadvantage.”

“We will continue working to raise the local employment rate to meet the London average and give our residents the same opportunities as those in wealthier parts of London.”

John Burton, Director at Westfield Stratford City said: “UK retailers and retail as an industry plays an important role in helping to regenerate an area.

“We have worked closely with Workplace as we understood the offer and knew we wanted local people to be part of this exciting development.

“Launching Skills Place Newham and basing it in Westfield Stratford City was a logical fit and, alongside Workplace, will create a lasting legacy for East London by up-skilling local people and ensuring they are transformed into job-ready candidates.”

Jeremy Nutter, Chief Executive Officer, Seetec Group, said: “Skills Place Newham has been helping local people develop the skills they need to be ready for work. Seetec has a wealth of experience in employment and training.

"Having this academy based in Westfield Stratford City, the biggest urban shopping centre in Europe, along with the support of Newham Council, will help us to develop people’s career opportunities through this partnership.”