Monday, 13 January 2014

Local Labour Agreements: "Train local young people if you want to build"

A major reason given for development is that it 'creates jobs', for example:
7.2 The Growth Point area will accommodate a whole spectrum of businesses, from start-ups to major corporations, including science, technology, retail, construction, green technology, manufacturing, aviation, engineering, and power generation. 

As well as asking developers to contribute to local housing and infrastructure
Futures Forum: 'Planning gain' - the replacement for S106 cash from developers - the Community Infrastructure Levy - but is it still 'bribery' by a different name?
Futures Forum: "The affordable housing that's unaffordable"
it has been suggested that local authorities could ask for local youngsters to be taken on as apprentices
Futures Forum: Apprenticeships in Sidmouth
especially in light of wanting to create 'sustainable communities':
Futures Forum: Sustainable Communities

Train local young people if you want to build in Exeter,                                         council leader tells developers

By GRichardson  |  Posted: January 13, 2014

Developers of future housing schemes and other major projects in Exeter could be urged to hire and train local workers under plans put forward by the city council.
7.2 The Growth Point area will accommodate a whole spectrum of businesses, from start-ups to major corporations, including science, technology, retail, construction, green technology, manufacturing, aviation, engineering, and power generation. 
The authority’s leaders are keen to follow areas including Sedgemoor and Eastbourne, which have pioneered so-called local labour agreements.
Under the policy, firms seeking planning permission for 10 or more houses and larger commercial premises would be encouraged to sign up to a formal agreement aimed at maximising employment and training opportunities for local people.
Requirements on developers could include promoting all vacancies to local jobseekers and ensuring at least 25 per cent of construction work goes to small and medium sized businesses.
Council leader Pete Edwards said: “Developers who want to build in this city should be putting something in towards the training of youngsters and apprenticeships. In the past we’ve seen jobs go elsewhere. We want to make sure work that comes here helps local people.”
Exeter is working with East Devon and Teignbridge district councils on a joint approach to local labour agreements, which would be negotiated on a case by case basis depending on the size and nature of the project.
Though not legally binding, the council expects the agreements to be taken seriously by developers. Richard Ball, assistant director of economy, said officers would monitor whether companies were delivering on their pledges.
“It is important that we have constructive and meaningful discussions with investors and businesses to secure training and employment opportunities at both the construction and operational phase of new development,” he added. “With any agreement of this sort, where there’s a level of trust and confidence in each other, if an organisation really doesn’t follow through with its promises this may reflect on future relationships.”
The policy could come into force soon if approved by the council’s executive next week.
Councillor Edwards is expecting a mixed reaction from developers, but said: “I think if they are going to do business in Exeter they should have some responsibility to local people. We are giving them the opportunities to build and so we should make sure some of that employment or training is given back to the city.”
The council leader added that local labour would be a key consideration when it comes to selecting a contractor for the redevelopment of the bus station site in the coming years.
And Mr Ball played down concerns that developers could be scared off by the prospect of onerous requirements, saying: “We would expect with the strength of the economy and hopefully the way it’s going that Exeter is a very attractive proposition and we are hopeful that a responsible attitude will be taken towards the labour that they’re looking to employ and their contribution back to the area that’s giving them the opportunity.”
It comes as a report shows that despite relatively low unemployment in Exeter, 16 to 24-year-olds still make up a disproportionately high percentage of benefit claimants, with pockets of youth unemployment in the Priory, St David’s, Exwick and Whipton Barton wards.
Councillor Edwards said: “I do believe as a nation we’ve lost an opportunity during the recession. It now looks like we’re coming out of it in a smallish way and already people are telling me they can’t get labour, particularly in areas like bricklaying and plumbing. At the same time, you’ve got all these youngsters on the dole who could have been trained up in that period, which is very sad. It is a lost opportunity and with this proposal we hope it will be local jobs for local people. I think we should have done this some time ago. When Princesshay was built none of this was ever done.”
Train local young people if you want to build in Exeter, council leader tells developers | Exeter Express and Echo
Developers who want to build in Exeter should have to train local people in order to get planning permission | Sidmouth Independent News

Local Labour Agreements

  • Local Labour Agreements (LLAs) involve a commitment from employers or developers to sign up to the Employment and Skills Charter in order to commit to try and recruit and procure services locally.
  • Where 10 or more jobs are proposed, through adopted planning policy the Council will seek to enter into an LLA secured through either a planning condition or legal agreement (S.106).
  • Smaller employment developments do not need to have an LLA, although a voluntary written commitment (for example, within planning applications) to try to recruit and procure locally will be welcomed and encouraged.
In order to help improve local employment and training opportunities for local residents, Sedgemoor District Council adopted an 'Employment and Skills Charter' policy in May 2009.
Under this policy, for employment developments that propose 10 or more jobs in total, the Council will seek to enter into a Local Labour Agreement with the Developer/ Applicant in accordance with the Council's adopted Employment and Skills Charter that sets out the following:
  • An agreed % target for local labour
  • A training and recruitment plan and
  • Commitment to an agreed proportion of local procurement of services and supplies".
In the case of very large developments, the Local Authority may request some degree of information sharing and monitoring of the above, for example, headline recruitment information on a quarterly basis. This will take the form of clause within a legal 'Section 106' agreement or be included as a planning condition.
For developments proposing less than 10 new jobs, no formal Local Labour Agreement is required, although adherence to the spirit of the Employment and Skills Charter (i.e. local recruitment, procurement and training where possible) is welcomed within any formal planning application made.
Sedgemoor District Council - Local Labour Agreements

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