Policy 4.12 Improving opportunities for all



A  Working with strategic partners, principally the London Enterprise Partnership, the Mayor will provide the spatial context to co-ordinate the range of national and local initiatives necessary to improve employment opportunities for Londoners, to remove barriers to employment and progression and to tackle low participation in the labour market.

Planning decisions

B  Strategic development proposals should support local employment, skills development and training opportunities.

Supporting text

4.58  With a growing working age population, it will be essential to ensure that Londoners are able to access jobs and other opportunities within their city. This will also bring transport and environmental benefits by reducing the need for longer distance commuting. While London has experienced growth in terms of economy and employment, there are still large inequalities in access to jobs and levels of worklessness in the capital. Londoners from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups for instance are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as those from White groups.

4.59  The first step in addressing these issues is to build on London’s strengths – its world-renowned higher education institutions, the highest skilled workforce in Europe, the knowledge base and creativity of its businesses. Secondly, there is a clear need to tackle significant labour market barriers such as the cost and availability of childcare, labour market discrimination and the mismatch between labour supply and demand in terms of education, skills or other barriers to success in a changing economy, focusing particularly on key target groups and communities living within London’s most disadvantaged areas.

4.60  Working with and through the London Enterprise Panel (LEP), the Mayor will influence delivery of skills and employment support for people who work in London, to enhance Londoners’ chances of employment and provide a more highly skilled workforce for organisations across the city. Helping people who are disadvantaged or excluded from the workplace, including those who are unemployed or who lack basic skills, will be a particular priority. Excellent and rigorous education, vocational training and a widespread apprenticeship system will help young Londoners to compete in a globalised economy[1]. The Mayor will work with central Government to ensure that the national Work Programme meets the particular needs of Londoners.

4.61  Delivery of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS) will be essential to achievement of the objectives of this Plan, which sets out the spatial development policies that will be needed. The EDS highlights the importance of extending opportunity to all Londoners and outlines actions to:

  • tackle worklessness and get more Londoners into work
  • address the root causes of low skills
  • promote equality and tackle deprivation
  • ensure more effective education, training and employment support for all
  • help people get into work, stay in employment and progress in their career
  • provide more personalised support and improve delivery.

4.62  Whilst recognising that the London labour market is relatively integrated, and people will find employment at varying distances from where they live, there is an important role for the planning system in ensuring that an adequate mix of businesses and public services (and therefore employment opportunities) are provided close to those communities who particularly benefit from local jobs. In the same way, planning can help to remove many barriers to employment and training opportunities by:

  • supporting provision for affordable childcare facilities (see Policy 8.2)
  • providing for business start up units
  • providing for training facilities in new developments creating high levels of jobs, to help the skills of local people match the needs of London’s growing economy
  • ensuring facilities for employment are well-designed and accessible to all sections of the community (including disabled people and older people)
  • locating employment and training facilities within walking/cycling and or public transport access of local communities.

Alongside this, London’s transport infrastructure provision should ensure that London’s workforce can access jobs across the capital.

4.63  These physically focussed initiatives should be complemented by business advice and skills development that help businesses and individuals take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

4.64 Boroughs are encouraged to investigate with developers the possibility of providing local businesses and residents the opportunity to apply for employment during the construction of developments and in the resultant end use.

[1]  Mayor of London. 2020 Vision. The greatest city on earth. Ambitions for London by Boris Johnson, GLA 2013

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