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Agenda item

Q2 Performance Report (2022/23) - Inclusive Economy and Jobs


Cllr Santiago Bell-Bradford, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs, with Stephen Biggs, Corporate Director of Community Wealth Building was present for discussion of the Quarter 2 Performance report with copy interleaved. The following issues were highlighted –

·       The Executive Member wanted to acknowledge officers’ efforts of putting more people back to work especially during this period of cost of living crisis.

·       On the number of Islington resident parents of children aged 0-18 supported into paid work through Team Islington activity, the meeting was informed that Council services and partners supported 234 parents of children aged 0-18 into employment which exceeded the profiled target of 232 by 1%. It is anticipated that by the year-end the annual target of 580 will be achieved.

·       It is important to note that although Council partners are working with a high number of parents, there is an issue with collecting data on parental status as not all of the partners routinely capture the age of client’s children, so this presents a challenge for reporting as 90% of employment outcomes are received from partners. Some partners have raised concerns that collecting data on parental status could be seen as discriminatory so the Council is taking action to address this by working with partners to identify how to address this gap in information to ensure that this is available for future reporting.

·       Council services and partners have supported 234 residents with a disability/long term health condition into employment exceeding the profiled target of 200 by 17%, however the Council in collaboration with London Metropolitan University has commenced a research project to gain greater insight into this issue. Meeting was advised that the research project will segment the general ‘disability and long-term health condition’ category and allow the Service to see in greater detail the employment circumstances of sub-groups within this category and, in turn, allow Service to provide more targeted support.

·       The Executive Member highlighted a case study of a client of 3 years who suffers with severe depression, anxiety and has regular panic attacks, and explained how support services were helping him into employment, although recognising the challenges associated with securing long-term employment.

·       The meeting was informed that Council services and partners supported 745 residents from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic residents into employment exceeding the profiled target of 480 by 55% and the Council in collaboration with London Metropolitan University has completed a research project on employment among Islington’s Black, Asian and Ethnic minority communities. The research has made recommendations for the targeting of support at communities and these recommendations are being addressed. Through the Islington Working Partnership the Council is encouraging other employment support services in the borough to use the research findings to support better targeting of their own support.

·       The service has requested other employment support services to provide greater detail on the ethnic breakdown of the residents they are supporting into work which will be reported in Quarter 3 2022-23.

·       An outreach worker has been employed specifically to strengthen the relationships with voluntary and community organisations that support Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities and connect residents from these communities to the range of employment and training provision that’s available in the borough.

·       The service has identified the issues of sustainment in work as a key measure in assessing the effectiveness of employment support services and have developed this indicator to track clients at 13 and 26 weeks which will be reported annually. This will also be rolled out and embedded across the Islington Working partnership. 

·       An area of concern highlighted is with the childcare bursary uptake. The Executive Member indicated that scheme was launched in June. In quarter 2, 43 applications were processed, 35 were for parents with employment outcomes and 8 to undertake training opportunities.

·       The meeting was advised that with the additional budget allocated, so the Service will be increasing its promotion amongst relevant partners including the additional workspace operators as well as public communications. The service will be monitoring whether the scheme will need to be amended so as to increase reach and benefits to parents/carers. Two outreach posts have been created specifically for parents who will be able to make those links to BAME communities.

·       In response to a question why only 11 Islington schools had taken up the living wage, the Executive Member advised that this is very difficult to monitor especially with the living cost crisis acknowledging there is more work to be done in this area and in particular whether more schools are actually paying living wage so will look into it and report back to committee.

·       A member highlighted a letter he had sent to the Executive Member on the need to regulate the problems with delivery riders and residents, the Executive Member advised that the Council’s strategic approach will look at responding to resident’s concern but also ensuring that it does not marginalise the exploited employees.

·       On whether the research commissioned about people with long term health conditions will take into consideration older people with caring responsibilities, the Executive Member stated that although the focus at the moment is with those with long term health conditions he would raise it with officers on whether with regards to partners a line could be inserted to include carers with health conditions. Executive Member reminded the meeting that council’s iWork service have a broader definition which is not necessarily the same with DWP.

·       With regards to employment support advice, the meeting was informed that the council is looking to work with its partners on this issue and officers do signpost people to organisation such as CAB and the Islington Law Centre.  

·       On the reasons why people drop out of employment meeting was advised that data from partners is vital and will help to analyse what the issues are.

·       With regards the living wage for jobs, meeting was advised that data collection is important, that of the 1400 jobs in the council, 238 achieved jobs paying the living wage. Members were reminded of the difficulty of obtaining data from partners which is about 90% of outcomes.

·       The Executive Member informed Members that following his meeting with the Council’s HR officers in September, he was informed that not all the sections of the Council use the services of iWork, that it is important that the Council’s gets it’s house in order before it extends any suggestion to partners. A further update will be provided to committee following further discussions with HR.

·       The Chair thanked Executive Member and the Programme Director for updating the Committee on the Quarter 2 Performance Report 


That the report be noted

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