Shortage of skills means Londoners are missing out on local government supply chain jobs

Gurjit Degun
18 January 2014

18 January 2014 | Gurjit Degun

A shortage of skills among Londoners has meant that job openings - created by boroughs through their supply chains - have remained unfilled.

That’s according to London Councils, which represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London.

It said that boroughs have worked with contractors to create a range of jobs and training places for residents since the launch of the London Procurement Pledge 18 months ago. The pledge commits boroughs to use their contracts to generate employment.

“However, feedback gathered from boroughs and employers reveals there are skills shortages resulting in not enough candidates with the right technical and employability skills to take advantage of all the offers available,” said London Councils.

The findings follow a London Councils report published last May which said that the capital was suffering from skills shortages.

Councillor Peter John, executive member for skills and employment, added: “Boroughs are doing everything they can – and more - to create jobs and training opportunities for their residents.

“For example in my borough of Southwark, we’ve worked with Lend Lease, the contractor on the Elephant and Castle regeneration project to create a range of jobs for our residents.

“However, we’ve also recognised there is no point creating jobs, if there are not the right candidates to fill them, so Lend Lease is working with us to create skills and training opportunities.

“Similar innovative approaches to this problem are being pioneered by other boroughs and their suppliers. However, in order to achieve more, we want to see skills powers devolved to councils so they can enhance the employment potential of their residents.”

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