Future York Report
Roger Ranson, Assistant Director Economic Development will be attending the meeting to update members on the Future York report. A report identifying areas that are relevant to social inclusion is attached.
A copy of the Executive Summary of The Future York report was circulated to members of the group prior to the meeting.
Members were updated on the Future York report.
Members were informed that the Future York Group was set up in response to job losses in the city in 2006. The report was published on 12 June 2007 and the Council was now responding to the report. Although the trigger for the report was economic, officers were keen to state that the Council’s response would not only be about economic growth but would ensure a disparity in incomes would not widen as the economy expanded.
Social Inclusion Working Group (SIWG) split into 3 groups to look at three different recommendations from the report, to highlight issues and suggest what the Council could do. The following comments and questions were raised by these groups:
S2 – Employability
- “Value previous experience as equal to a qualification eg. skills with computers but no certificate
- Value life experience not just formal qualifications
- Expand options for practical training
- Issues regarding ability to act on opportunities – how to get the message about jobs or training opportunities out to people e.g. advertising literacy courses via written information (posters, prospectuses) isn’t helpful if you can’t read.
- Play to our strengths e.g. tourism – do we equip local children with skills in this area?
- Marketing of jobs – change emphasis on the ‘value’ of jobs to society e.g. hotel industry, caring jobs
- Need to expand emphasis of Science City (just been recognised in the Corporate Strategy Refresh)
- Agency work in York – do we have a profile for how many workers, what jobs etc. Does it create instability?
- Workforce planning city wide - link to regional and national work and changes
- Tailor education to suit children and the jobs they could get into
- How do we work with parents to encourage and inspire children in terms of different job opportunities in York.”
S7 – Disparity of incomes
- “Look to the future – what industries will be attracted to York? Demographic changes – ageing population (York older than average) = more jobs in care area which is low paid. How do we make this more attractive?
- Do temporary contracts prevent people from progressing and/or create unnecessary movement? How can we influence this? Change our own employment practices?
- Attract mixed economy of small, medium and large companies and self employed people. Rather than just attracting large companies; if one company closes down it has a big impact on the city.
- Encourage self employment and innovative businesses eg. green/carbon neutral businesses or grass roots organisations, co-operatives.
- Don’t just focus on young people, encourage older people to start small businesses as well
- Micro-lending – lend small amounts of money to start small businesses.
- Re-skill and/or increase skills of current population (all ages)
- Affordable housing – workers need to be able to afford to live in York. Use large planning projects (York Central etc) for affordable housing and key worker accommodation.”
S10 – worklessness
- “Break cycle of worklessness – targeted at most deprived areas of City – especially in families
- Understand who this is about – define worklessness, profile the City, identify partners who can contribute to this.
- More major employers working with schools eg, Westfield and Corus
- Support people so that they can get out of the benefits trap (earn more in benefits than by working therefore can’t afford to work)
- Work to change perceptions/stigma around benefits eg school meals
- Act positively to support and maintain sustainability of organisations such as Remploy.
- Use council procurement to secure social benefits as well as economic (£) ones. Promote value to society to other key partners as well.
- Some BME communities concentrated in low income groups – specific difficulties in accessing private sector housing market. Targeted help required.”
RESOLVED: That the Working Group’s comments be noted.
REASON: To help shape the effectiveness of future action.