Peabody at the Conservative Party Conference
Delivering our fringe event: You're Hired
Our fringe event on boosting apprenticeships made its second appearance of the political party conference season, at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
Stuart MacDonald, Inside Housing editor, chaired the event, and led a panel including Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, who praised the work of the Peabody led consortium of employers, which in a short space of time, has created 200 apprenticeship opportunities for young Londoners.
Panel members: (L-R) Jane Ellison, Stephen Howlett, Stuart McDonald, Steve Rawlings, Councillor Philippa Roe
Peabody’s Chief Executive Stephen Howlett provided the context for Peabody’s involvement, and why we are ideally placed to deliver this model. He then introduced a film featuring some of our young apprentices, demonstrating how our employment and training programmes are transforming lives.
Panel member comments
Steve Rawlings, Chief Executive and Founder, Building Lives CIC
"Builders must be made to account for the number of apprentices they take on. Ninety per cent of construction work is done by small building firms that employ less than 12 people — these are the ones we need to target.
"To create more apprenticeships we should require contractors to create them as a condition of winning business. There needs to be more collaboration and joined up thinking."
Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea
"It’s about more than just the opportunity — we must equip young people with the skills and support they need to succeed. This means building resilient people within families, targeting youngsters at an early age and forging links with schools.
"Local development schemes such as Nine Elms must look at opportunities to benefit the wider community, through employment, training and business. Councils have a role to play in getting employers to match young people to available jobs.
"Best practice — there are a multitude of schemes out there (employment, training, apprenticeships etc); we must find a way to harness this good work and use it to improve what’s available. It’s important to look at the young people being left behind and why this is happening — Peabody has a role in this, and using its expertise to provide the additional support they need.
"Welfare reform – it’s important to demonstrate to young people that work pays and is the route to a fulfilling life. Employers must face up to their corporate social responsibilities and do more to support the communities in which they operate."
The fringe event closed with an open floor debate
Philippa Roe, Leader, Westminster City Council
"Westminster City Council is working with local people to identify the skills gaps and help them into sustainable employment. How?
- UTC with Network Rail and BT
- Big volunteering programme
- Utilising economic and housing regen opportunities to provide jobs and apprenticeships for local people through their supply chain. This also helps boost local businesses and create more jobs.
- They work with FE to ensure they provide employability training which is targeted at employers."