Employment and skills February updates

London’s disability gap is 27%, could interventions from central Government make a meaningful difference?

Policy and Research News

London Assembly members meet to examine barriers holding back disabled  people  

The London Assembly Economy Committee recently met to examine the barriers faced by disabled people when looking for work and identify key moments when support is most likely to be effective. London’s disability gap is currently 27 per cent. The committee wanted to explore if this gap was entrenched and immovable? Or could interventions from central Government and the Mayor make a meaningful difference?

New London Councils report to tackle labour market disadvantage  

London boroughs are calling for stronger local powers to address long-term unemployment and in-work poverty – including through placing jobcentre support alongside council services. Analysis in a new report – Better Ways to Work: Tackling labour market disadvantage in London, published today by the umbrella group London Councils – suggests high employment rates disguise substantial weaknesses in the capital’s labour market.

London Plus responds to parliamentary inquiry into the UK’s welfare safety net 

London Plus responded to the Work and Pensions Committee’s recent inquiry into the UK’s welfare safety net. The inquiry asked a number of questions, broadly summarised as: (i) what do we know about chronic deprivation and hardship in the UK; (ii) do Jobcentre Plus procedures and benefit delays play a role?

We gathered information from civil society and the public sector to help respond to these questions. Our response was written in consideration of the impact that welfare reforms have on individuals, and consequently civil society organisations, based in London.


Mapping UK in-work progression initiative

Learning and Work Institute and Trust for London have recently launched the Better Work Network, a policy and practice-based initiative dedicated to tackling the issues of low pay and poor quality of work.

The first project to be launched by the Better Work Network is a provision mapping exercise to identify progression-focussed support that is or has been, in operation across the UK. This includes any support or initiative that is targeted at helping to low paid workers to upskill, improve their pay or progress in work. Once complete, the review will be used to build a national database that will provide an accessible resource for interested parties to find out about the types of projects and initiatives that have been developed.

If you are aware of any such support or initiative (or have any questions or queries related to this exercise) then please let the Better Work Network know by emailing

New guide on useful datasets sources for civil society organisations  

London Plus and the Greater London Authority (GLA) have collaborated to create this practical useful datasets sources document for civil society organisations to use when gathering and analysing data. This resource was collated by data officers Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster (London Plus) and Hannah Goulding (GLA), with the aim that any civil society organisation in London can access data they need by using the document. Alongside an organisation’s own data, open data can be an extremely valuable resource for charities.

Funding opportunities

Start Up, Step Up London programme 

City Hall has launched the Start Up, Step Up London Programme. This £500k entrepreneurship programme has been developed as part of the Mayor’s continued commitment to promote a fair and inclusive economy for Londoners.

It will provide Londoners with the skills to access entrepreneurship and/or grow their business. It will focus on supporting underrepresented group, particularly women, disabled people and ethnic minorities, to help reduce the employment gap amongst those who face labour market disadvantages.

Start up, Step Up London is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the London Growth Hub.  The closing date for applications is 17:00 Friday 8 March 2019.

London’s Poverty Profile  

The success of London’s Poverty Profile (LPP) has meant that expectations about what it can contribute have increased. They are seeking to recruit a long-term partner organisation that can work with the staff and trustees at the Trust, as well as external advisors, to make sure that LPP continues to meet the city’s needs and expectations.  Applicants can be businesses, social enterprises, charities, or universities. They expect the value of this tender to be between £80,000 to £100,000 (including VAT if applicable) in the first year. Deadline for proposals: 10am Monday 18th February 2019.

Delay in ESF procurement  

A delay in the procurement opportunity for The Mayor’s European Social Fund (ESF) 2019 – 2023 Programme means the Tender submission deadline has been extended to Friday, 1st March 2019 (12:00 midday). The aim of the European Social Fund (ESF) is to increase labour market participation, promote social inclusion and develop the skills of the future and existing workforce.

In London, ESF will support the London Economic Action Partnership’s (LEAP’s) three skills and employment themes: promoting sustainable employment and progression outcomes, ensuring individuals and employers are better informed to drive the skills and employment system and engaging with London’s businesses to help drive growth in the Capital.

Citizen-Led Engagement Programme  

The Mayor is once again inviting community groups to apply for grant funding to facilitate their own community-led research projects, in collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA). The Mayor’s Community Engagement team launched the Citizen-Led Engagement Programme in 2017/18 to begin to address inequalities.

The programme commissioned six community-based projects and delivered a tailored learning programme. The Mayor is committed to making the capital a city for all Londoners, where every community can thrive. Eight grants of up to £12,000 are on offer to community groups. Submit your application form and supporting documents by 12:00 noon on Monday 4 March 2019.