The Central London Integration Hub – Helping disadvantaged Londoners access the support they need to move into decent work
The employment and skills system in the capital is complex and fragmented. Londoners who need help looking for work or improving their skills often struggle to understand the system, and to access the support which could best meet their needs. Employment and skills services often do not work together as effectively as they could. This limits the potential impact of services, and it is a particular challenge for disadvantaged Londoners, who often need support to overcome multiple barriers to work.
That is why we are launching the Central London Integration Hub.
Delivered by Central London Forward, the integration hub aims to help disadvantaged Londoners to access the support that best meets their needs, so that they can overcome their barriers, and move into decent work. It aims to tackle fragmentation and support coordination, so that the employment and skills system is more than the sum of its parts.
The Central London Integration Hub will focus on two groups who face particular labour market disadvantage; adults with disabilities and long term health conditions, and refugees. Both of these groups are less likely to be in work than the average Londoner, and those who are in work tend to be lower paid. These groups also often need support from different services in order to overcome multiple barriers to work.
The Central London Integration Hub is largely funded by GLA, and is part of the wider ‘No Wrong Door’ programme. We were delighted to welcome the Mayor of London to Hackney earlier this month to mark the launch of the hub. He met with some refugees who are being supported by Central London Works – our devolved Work and Health Programme – and he heard about our new ESF-funded Connecting Communities programme, which is supporting unemployed and inactive residents into work.
The Central London Integration Hub Team will work with our member authorities, employment and skills providers, and other stakeholders including community groups to help coordinate the employment and skills system. This will include running networks to bring together organisations working with disabled residents and refugees, organising jobs and skills fairs focused on our priority groups, providing training to front-line delivery staff, and producing resources to support practitioners. Through helping the system work better together, we hope to support more disabled Londoners and refugees to access support, and therefore to improve their skills and move into decent work.
As part of the project, we are working with Learning and Work Institute to understand the needs of our priority cohorts, and their experience of the employment and skills system at present. This work will identify practical measures to support integration and improve how the employment and skills system supports these groups. The report will be published in autumn – watch this space.
If you want to find out more about this exciting new project, get in touch with our Central London Integration Hub Manager, Anu Leinonen
Joe Dromey is Director of Central London Forward – 28.7.2022