Jobs: Our Initial Proposals
Barking and Dagenham has a proud industrial history and a strong culture of entrepreneurialism, however as we all know the decline of the manufacturing industry led to a significant fall in the quality and quantity of jobs in the borough. There is also a lack of decent training and work opportunities for young people and for other groups facing disadvantage in the labour market. The result is high rates of unemployment and low pay compared to other London boroughs.
We believe councils like ours have as important role to play in addressing these issues: we need to do whatever we can to shape the quantity and quality of jobs available to local people. That’s why we’re working to make better use of under-utilised land in the borough, to secure new jobs and attract industries that can offer better work to local people. This will include a new film studio and data centre at Dagenham East; new flexible, affordable space for artists and other creative businesses and individuals in Barking town centre; and welcomingLondon’s three iconic food markets – Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields - at Dagenham Dock.
We need to improve the quality of the jobs that are already here. We are working to ensure that staff on council-led construction sites are all paid the London Living Wage, and to improve pay and conditions for those that provide care for the most vulnerable in our community. We are also looking at how we can use our power as a major purchaser of goods and services to deliver more benefits for the community. That means asking organisations that want to do business with the council to also provide training and job opportunities for local people and use local suppliers wherever possible. This is just one part of what’s called ‘social value’, where we make sure that the companies who get business from the council put something back into the community in return.
Opportunities for Local Residents
We must ensure that local people are able to access these new opportunities, no matter their circumstances. That means building on recent improvements in local educational results and the numbers of young people who are not in education, employment or training. We must proactively ensure there are clear employment and training pathways into the jobs and sectors that can provide meaningful and sustainable work in cleaner, greener 21st century industries.
Equal Opportunities and Support
We have a responsibility to our most disadvantaged residents. We must provide them with targeted employment support, so that they can take advantage of these opportunities too. Going beyond jobs and work, we are providing practical support for individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet, with advice and support offered through our Homes and Money Hub and affordable food and support available at our community food clubs.
Tell us what You Think
There is much more we are doing to build a thriving and inclusive local economy. This is just the start. Now we want to know what you think. Are we on the right track? Please tell us what your priorities would be in relation to a thriving and inclusive local economy and what you think of our initial proposals.
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The consultation has now closed. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the conversation.
Over the coming weeks we will be reviewing your comments and thinking about how we can use your ideas as part of our plans for the borough.
Please continue to visit One Borough Voice for further updates.