Employment and skills March updates


Here is the March 2019 edition of the Employment and Skills Bulletin, that contains information about our new London Good Work Commission and our upcoming London Civil Society Infrastructure Forum on 12 March.

We’re also celebrating all things apprenticeships and careers this week, so scroll down for more information on that. There are also details on this week’s announcement of a Stronger Towns Funds and the Start-Up Step up programme.


London Good Work Commission officially launches

The London Good Work Commission is the first major attempt in the capital to explore how we create ‘a city of good work for all’. Established by London Plus, the hub body for the capital’s 120,000 voluntary organisations, the commission brings together 20 London leaders, carefully selected from civil society, local government, businesses, the trade union movement, and think-tanks. A big theme of the commission’s work will be to understand, articulate, and bring to the fore the pivotal role of London’s civil society in creating good work for all. Its findings and recommendations will be heavily informed by research and evidence gathered from London’s voluntary sector, involving opinion research, interviews, and site visits. Please get in touch with its Convener, Rayhan Haque, if you’d like to support the commission’s work. We’d love to hear from you!

London Civil Society Infrastructure Forum 

London Plus and the Greater London Authority invite you to a new forum for London’s civil society infrastructure organisations. The forum will meet quarterly and create an opportunity to share ideas, insights and information from infrastructure organisations across London. Our aim is to always have an agenda that is focused on an issue or theme of common interest and then to follow that with a skills sharing/learning opportunity. We are also keen to hear from you about what you would like on the agenda. We welcome representatives from CVS’s, Volunteer Centres, specialist civil society support organisations and membership bodies, volunteer-led networks, Business Improvement Districts, Local Giving Schemes and other local or pan London infrastructure. The theme of the first meeting will be digital leadership. We have invited Superhighways to deliver a workshop on how you can develop your organisation’s digital capability and leadership within the framework of the newly launched Charity Digital Code of Practice. Please ensure you have registered by 2pm this Friday 8 March.

UK replacement for European Union support funds should give spending powers to local communities, IPPR urges 

A new IPPR report argues the Shared Prosperity Fund should be devolved to combined authorities and that residents should have a direct say in how the funds are used. The report says that giving local government and communities more powers over the use of regional funds will strengthen local democracy, reduce bureaucracy and improve spending decisions. It proposes drawing on recently-developed ways to engage with communities. These include Poverty Truth Commissions, which brings together local decision makers and people with direct experience of poverty, and citizens’ juries, which allow communities to deliberate and decide on local issues. The report also argues that the basis on which EU funding is distributed between different regions of the UK should be rethought. Under the current system, funding is targeted on regions with the lowest GDP per head. But IPPR says a more holistic approach is needed.

Work and Pensions Select Committee publishes the government’s response on the treatment of disabled people

The Work and Pensions Select Committee has published the Government’s response to its report on the treatment of disabled people under Universal Credit. Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “The Government’s response to our report once again dodges all the big questions. In this country, to be living with a disability is to be disproportionately likely to be living in poverty. Instead of tackling that, the design of Universal Credit will leave many disabled people even worse off. Yet in the face of that shocking truth, the Government keeps returning lacklustre responses like this. It must do better.”

National Apprenticeship & National Careers Week 2019

It’s a big week for careers and apprenticeships, with respective celebrations in store. The annual celebrations bring the whole apprenticeships and careers community together to celebrate their impact on individuals, employers and the economy.


Datasets sources

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.

The government’s £1.6bn Stronger Towns Fund launched 

The Stronger Towns Fund is a six-year fund designed to support parts of the country that have not benefited from the proceeds of growth and will focus creating new jobs, helping train local people and boosting economic activity. A total of £1 billion will be allocated using a needs-based formula but London won’t receive any of this. However, a further £600 million will be available through a bidding process, which all communities across the capital can bid for.