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Employment: Greater London

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 3478, tabled on 17 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to protect and increase employment levels in (a) Greater London and (b) the London Borough of Bexley.

Answered on

24 May 2022

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is committed to supporting everyone who has been affected by the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the labour market. Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £370 billion. This includes key DWP programmes as part of the Plan for Jobs, such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills, and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. We have also launched Way to Work - a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million currently out of work people into jobs by the end of June 2022.

DWP offers significant support to unemployed people across London to access employment opportunities through our network of jobcentres. Our Work Coaches provide support on finding a job, help with retraining or skills advice, CV, job applications and access to the new vacancies, as well as signposting to our Jobhelp website.

We are working closely with GLA and London Councils on their No Wrong Door and Good Work for Londoners ambitions – to provide a joined-up approach to work and skills including Skills Bootcamps and Youth Hubs to connect with young people within the community.

The jobcentre team within the Bexley constituency are responding to the needs of the local labour market and work with employers such as Premier Inn, Morrisons, Tesco, Wetherspoons and many more to help them fulfil their recruitment needs. Local employers are attending jobcentres on a regular basis to conduct recruitment activities and interviews.

Sector based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) enable the team to support local employers and provide jobseekers with the skills and experience needed to get a start in a particular employment sector. Recent examples of SWAPs delivered in the area include, ‘Preparing to Work in the Food Industry’ in collaboration with London South East Colleges and Ferndale Foods, and the ‘Preparing to Work in Construction’ SWAP with O'Halloran and O'Brien Ltd.