Memorandum from Development Department,
City of Nottingham
The following comprises the response from Nottingham
1. To a large extent, the example of the
large philanthropic company outreaching to those at a disadvantage
within the labour market has gone.
The reality for many cities is the growth of
small and medium enterprises who have neither the time nor the
resource to work in that way.
An anecdote to illustrate this is:
The Employment Service locally are organising
a Millennium Award event for "New Dealers" who have
been nominated for their progress and commitment.
A small hairdressing company employing one such
trainee rang to ask if their trainee would be successful. Their
reasoning being that to attend the event would mean closing the
business for half a day.
Their dilemma was a choice between supporting
the new deal trainee and losing business.
2. With regard to the question of displacement
created by increased employer activity. We agree that "churning"
of the labour market is beneficial and this might also create
movement for those who are under employed as well as those unemployed.
3. An interesting phenomenon exists around
the large numbers of unfilled vacancies advertised by the Employment
Service locally. Evidence suggests that very few employers complain
or chase their unfilled vacancies. Greater flexibility around
the use of hard to fill vacancies (due to low rate of pay or temporary
nature of the contract) to provide work placements/work trials
may prove beneficial to engaging unemployed people. They would
however require payment at the rate for the job and this would
impact upon their benefit payments.
The opportunity for enhanced flexibility around
benefits, eg by use of suspension rather than severance would
be extremely beneficial.
4. The concept of the wage subsidy has not
really proven successful, it is therefore important to identify
an alternative trigger for employment involvement eg
halve the business rate; or
have a sliding scale of rates with
benefits for companies who demonstrate they are good employers;
local good practice of long standing
is of two services (QTI Nottingham City Council and NTO Notts
County Council) which work with small and medium businesses to
aid their recruitment in areas of skill shortage. The key to their
success lies in taking the hassle out of recruitment, induction
and ongoing support through the early months of employment. In
addition they pay off the job training fees, monitor progress
against an agreed training plan, and give financial recognition
to the on the job training needed. The achievement of sustainable
employment outputs through these services is approximately 80
The development of the new intermediary fund
is welcomed in principle, but it cannot be a quick fix approach.
The concept of an honest broker working between company and unemployed
person is sound and is what I believe that QTI and NTO already
One concern is, however, that competitive funding
can create negative competition rather than collaborative working
and building on what already exists.
5. Support for those taking entry level
jobs, to aid their career progression should build on the aftercare/post
placement support already described. This can be enhanced by using
good mentoring programmes.
It is also important to have good methods of
tracking the progress of clients as they move from one employment
City of Nottingham