As unemployment rates in London remain high, out-of-work Londoners are being given the chance to help build the Capital as part of a unique employment agreement announced today by Land Securities, the UK’s largest commercial property developer.
Land Securities has brought together partners in the public and private sectors to ring-fence jobs and offer training opportunities in construction at new developments across its £5.27 billion London property portfolio.
A network of partners including the Greater London Authority, Job Centre Plus, The London Probation Trust, the City of London Corporation, and major UK contractors, will help Londoners access training and employment opportunities with a focus on the long-term unemployed, young people, offenders and ex-offenders.
In the first instance, Land Securities will set aside 100 job opportunities, 60 National Vocational Qualifications [NVQs], and five full time apprenticeships at the new 525ft tall tower being built at 20 Fenchurch Street, a partnership with Canary Wharf Group Plc, supported by the City of London Corporation. Jobs will also be ring-fenced at 30 Old Bailey over the next three years, a new development in the City of London incorporating 375,000 sq ft of new office and retail space.
The strategy is launched as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that there are 406,000 unemployed people in the capital – 9.5% of London's economically active population, and a higher proportion than in any other UK region except the North East.
The London employment strategy was announced by Land Securities yesterday at an event attended by Richard Barnes, the Deputy Mayor of London, and Stuart Fraser, Chairman of Policy at the City of London Corporation, at The Guildhall in London.
Richard Barnes, Deputy Mayor of London, commented: “Now more than ever we need to work with employers like Land Securities to help more people find work. I welcome such a progressive scheme, and look forward to seeing it reach its potential across London.”
Robert Noel, Managing Director of Land Securities’ London Portfolio, commented: “After the financial downturn, Land Securities led the sector in committing to large-scale and complex property projects. These projects last for many years and create thousands of jobs. Working with London’s politicians, whilst mobilising our suppliers and our occupiers, we will exert our influence to make as many sustainable employment, education and skills opportunities available as possible in order to enable Londoners meet their full potential.”
Stuart Fraser, Chairman of Policy and Resource at the City of London Corporation, Commented: “Working with developers at landmark sites to secure employment and training for residents is a priority for the City Corporation. We will link Land Securities with some of our existing 50 initiatives, which aim to secure jobs in the Square Mile for those living in the City’s surrounding areas”.
In addition, the new partnership will give Londoners access to construction training leading to job opportunities with contractors at non-Land Securities sites across London. Colleges and other education providers in the Capital will be able to make referrals for potential trainees and job seekers through the scheme’s training partner, Alandale Sustainability Solutions Ltd.
The launch of the strategy follows the completion of a successful pilot with contractors Sir Robert McAlpine at 62 Buckingham Gate in Victoria, a Land Securities development. Over a two month period, 51 unemployed Londoners received training and now have skills to take to the job market. Of these, 23 trainees were offered permanent jobs.
Statistics reveal that the construction industry could play an important role in helping London close its employment gap. With planned developments and an ageing workforce, the construction industry across the Capital will need an estimated 15,000 new recruits each year to meet demand until 2015.
To ensure that employment opportunities continue beyond the construction phase, Land Securities has been the driving force behind two Employment Charters with the Cheapside Initiative in the City and the Victoria Business Improvement District for Victoria. The charters act as a catalyst to get both new and existing businesses to commit to making job opportunities fully accessible to local people, which includes retail, hospitality and many more.
For further information and to download a copy of Land Securities London Employment Strategy in full, visit www.landsecurities.com
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact:
Land Securities Group PLC
T: +44 (0)20 7024 5460
T: +44 (0) 20 7024 5411