The Executive member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs presented this item. Cllr Bell-Bradford invited questions on the report per the Agenda.
Key Points in the discussion were raised, as follows:
· The Executive Member explained that sub targets were ambitious, and they may be under on some of these but there was an upwards increase and targets were slowly being reached. He explained that on some targets it was difficult to get certain information, such as ages of residents.
· Councillors asked what the Council was doing surrounding national apprenticeship week and for apprenticeship schemes in the Borough. The Executive Member explained that whilst Council championed apprenticeships year-round, there were a number of events being hosted during apprenticeship week that had good engagement. Improvements were still needed to produce a more systematic approach to capture information as well as working more closely with colleges and London Metropolitan University.
· Furthermore, work was being undertaken by HR to discover what apprenticeships could be available and the demographic that were seeking these. Level 2 apprenticeships availability had decreased and collaboration with colleges was needed. The Executive Member further explained that the Council were looking at how they can better support parents and applicants on the application process. There were tensions between whether the Council should prioritise education or apprenticeships.
· Keith Townsend, Corporate Director Environment and Climate Change, responded to queries on the Bright Sparks scheme, explaining that the Council were looking to continue to redevelop Bright Sparks and the opportunities this had provided to develop skills.
· Caroline Wilson, Director of Inclusive Economy and Jobs, and the Executive Member responded to concerns over affordable working spaces. Charges were substantially below market rate. They had just completed the monthly return with Fashion Enter and it had been positive, and the financial position had started to stabilise. The Executive Member said he would circulate a report on affordable workspaces in the borough.
· There was a research project underway with London Met University involving qualitative and quantitative elements on ongoing pressures on health provisions which was being evaluated and would be brought back to committee.
· Caroline Wilson said she would bring information on UCL Shared Knowledge back to the committee.
· The Executive Member responded to concerns over the Cost-of-Living Crisis effects on businesses in Islington. Islington were working with the London Boroughs of Camden and Hackney on the central activity zone. There were still issues from Covid effecting businesses such as many more people working from home particularly on Monday and Friday’s where businesses had seen a decrease in footfall. The Executive Member would circulate more statistics on how Islington compared to other boroughs in this area.
· KPI’s had previously not been good enough so more had been added to allow better tracking of targets.
· Further information on green jobs available would be brought back to committee.
· The Executive Member responded to concerns on increased funding due to scheme expansions, ensuring that any not so far used would be allocated to the right places and not wasted
Officers to provide update on Bright Sparks to the committee.
The Executive member to circulate a report on affordable workspaces in the borough
Officers to provide information on London Met University Research Project.
Officers to bring information on UCL Shared Knowledge back to the committee.
The Executive Member to Circulate information on the effects of the Cost-of-Living crisis to Islington Businesses.
The Executive Member to circulate information on green jobs available.
That the report be noted