Agenda and minutes

Venue: Boardroom - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Lisa Weaver, Democratic Services Officer  020 8937 1358, Email: lisa.weaver@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of personal and prejudicial interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant financial or other interest in the items on the agenda.

Minutes:

None declared.

2.

Deputations

Minutes:

None.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 October 2013 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The minutes are attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2013 be approved as an accurate record of proceedings. 

4.

Matters arising

Minutes:

Item 3, Matters Arising

Kisi Smith-Charlemagne informed the Committee that she had not received confirmation regarding parking on zig-zag lines outside stations and would circulate the information once received.

 

Item 6, Deputations

The Chair informed the Committee that a letter had been drafted regarding the policy on assets of community value and the final copy would be sent to the Committee once sent to the Lead Member for Environment and Neighbourhoods. 

5.

Employment & Enterprise Service Update - November 2013 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

This report provides an update on the recently established Employment & Enterprise service area. It highlights key activities and achievements to date and provides an overview of future plans.

Minutes:

Shomsia Ali, Head of Employment and Enterprise, informed the Committee that the team was now fully staffed.  The section was a new service area within the housing & employment division, reflecting the strong links between unemployment and housing needs.  The Head of Employment and Enterprise informed the Committee that a borough employment strategy was in the process of being drafted. To inform this, consultation on the evidence base had taken place, including with key stakeholders such as the Department for Working Pensions (DWP) and the College of North West London (CNWL). The Employment Strategy will be aligned to the Housing Strategy for the next five years. 

 

The Head of Employment and Enterprise gave a presentation demonstrating the employment trends in the borough and the challenges facing the team and the borough as a whole.  She drew members’ attention to key trends in the borough, including a population increase over the last ten years, particularly an increase in the working age population. Shomsia Ali explained that the London average for the proportion of working age adults in employment was 69.5%, only 1.4% higher than Brent.10.6% of persons of working age were unemployed and

looking for work (a total of 14,100 unemployed people in Brent).  This pattern of Brent recording an unemployment rate 2 -3% above London and the UK rate had been consistent over the past 15 years. Shomsia Ali drew attention to differences within ethnic groups, with a low percentage of Black/African/Caribbean/British residents being economically active. 

 

The Head of Employment and Enterprise highlighted the difference between unemployment and ‘worklessness’, sighting that unemployment (Jobseekers Allowance claimant count)  had been decreasing and coming in line with the London average despite the population increase.  Shomsia Ali informed the Committee that the residents of Brent had fared well in comparison to previous recessions, suggesting the population was resilient and self sufficient.  She continued to explain that approximately 50% of unemployed persons on job seekers allowance (JSA) were able to get a job within six months, with only 25% remaining in long term unemployment.   Shomsia Ali drew attention to differences within claimant groups, including that18 – 24 year olds are no more likely to be claiming JSA for more than a year than any other age group. The rate of long term unemployment for 18 – 24 year olds was marginally below the average rate for the UK (Brent 1%, UK 1.2%). Those JSA claimants aged over 50 years were marginally more likely to still be unemployed after 12 months.1Members queried the exact number of 18-24 year olds in long term unemployment and it was agreed that this information would be circulated to the Committee by the Head of Employment and Enterprise. 

 

Shomsia Ali informed members that despite an overall positive borough picture, a ward based analysis showed that there was growing polarisation in the borough. The wards that have since 1992 experienced the highest levels of unemployment still continue to have entrenched poverty and unemployment. Shomsia Ali highlighted the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Brent Council's New Apprenticeship Programme pdf icon PDF 88 KB

This paper provides the background to, and an overview of Brent Council’s exciting and ambitious new Apprenticeship Programme which aims to recruit 100 apprentices to the council over the next 3 years, starting with a new cohort of at least 30 new apprentices in January 2014.

Minutes:

Shomsia Ali informed the Committee that there were various roles available within the in-house council apprenticeship scheme. Shomsia Ali confirmed that vacancies were being advertised nationally via the National Apprenticeship Service website, but also locally through her team.   Work was being undertaken with partners to identify young persons suitable for the roles and make them aware of the opportunities.  It was explained that the first trench of apprenticeships would commence in January 2014 and it was felt that an update should be provided in March 2014. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            Members noted the report,

(ii)          That an update be provided in March 2014.

7.

Work Programme 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The work programme is attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

Members noted the work programme.

8.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Partnership and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting is scheduled to take place on 21 January 2014.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Partnership and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee has been scheduled to take place on 21 January 2014.

9.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Democratic Services Manager or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.

Minutes:

None.