Council to aid jobseekers

Lambeth town hall
Lambeth town hall in Brixton

Lambeth council’s adult learning service is launching a support service to help local people get work.

More than 20 per cent of Lambeth employees are currently furloughed, and so are at risk of redundancy once government support is withdrawn or reduced.

The government furlough scheme is due to finish at the end of October and the TUC has warned of a “tsunami” of job losses if it does.

The scheme began on March and by mid-August some 9.6 million people working for 1.2 million employers had claimed support from it.

About 2.7 million self-employed people also claimed nearly £8 billion government support.

Lambeth council secured a £240,000 grant to help local people boost skills and open up new career options.

Micro-businesses, employing fewer than 10 people make up 87 per cent of all Lambeth firms and are especially vulnerable, with three quarters of them having already furloughed staff or made redundancies.

The borough’s new Response to Redundancy (R2R) programme is to help Lambeth residents and workers who have recently lost their jobs get new training in a range of areas. These include maths, computers, language skills, childcare, health, social care and teaching support.

There is also a three-week course with seven weeks’ follow-up support to help people made redundant find jobs in growth areas, develop their digital skills and refresh their interview technique. This includes mentoring, support in overcoming any barriers to employment and inspirational employer-led talks.

woman speaking into microphone in public
Jacqui Dyer

Councillor Jacqui Dyer, cabinet member for jobs, skills and community safety, said: “The economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are deep and severe, with huge impacts on many people’s job security, business opportunities and future careers.

“Lambeth is determined to target training and development so residents who experience disadvantages and face redundancy can get the opportunities they need to upskill, retrain and access work in fields where there are more jobs.

“I urge our residents to spread word of these support schemes in our communities to help those that really need our support at this incredibly difficult time.”

The council successfully applied to the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Covid-19 Response Fund for the programme grant and secured Get Set UK and MI Skills to run the courses.