Welcome unemployment drop masks major inequalities

1 March 2016

A drop in the number of people registered as unemployed in the borough has been welcomed by us although a note of caution has also been sounded.


Commenting on the news that the number of people registered as unemployed in Brent now stands at 4,587 - down by 1,213 since last year, Cllr Roxanne Mashari, Brent's Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills, said:


"It's great news when more people get into work, but this headline figure hides a more worrying trend of people trapped in low value employment.


"This is characterised by low incomes, mostly at national minimum wage, with few prospects for career development and progression.


"This is coupled with an increasing trend for less secure employment terms such as zero hour or few hours contracts. It's a scandal that the average earnings for people in Brent are now £3,426 less than the London average - a gap that has widened by nearly £1,000 since last year.


"It is also important to highlight disparities that still exist in the borough, with some communities facing significantly higher levels of unemployment coupled with low levels of skills needed for the jobs market.


"Brent council and its partners are working hard to get people into work and these services have been prioritised in next year's budget proposals."


Our Employment and Skills Team plays an important role in addressing these issues and has put in place several services and projects to promote sustainable employment opportunities and improve skills levels of Brent residents.


Brent Works is a newly formed service that draws on the shared expertise of Brent Council, Job Centre Plus and College of North West London. Our organisations work in partnership to create apprenticeship vacancies and employment opportunities for you. View current Brent Works vacancies and send completed registration forms to brent.works@brent.gov.uk.


Our adult education service, Brent Start, provides a range of courses to help residents gain the necessary skills for employment and for exploring alternative career options. Many courses are free for residents and course listings can be found online. For further queries or to enrol, please contact brent.start@brent.gov.uk.


The Living Room is an employment service based on St Raphael's estate in Neasden. The council, Brent Housing Partnership, Job Centre Plus and Help the Somali foundation work together to provide a holistic service based around the needs of individuals, including health needs and financial advice.


This project demonstrates our approach to ensuring residents in priority neighbourhoods feel the benefits of any economic growth experienced in the wider borough.