A fundamental principle of regeneration is often that local people will benefit from the jobs created and investment in the community.

Too often this does not hold true. Some now believe we are approaching market failure in employability and skills.

This leads to increasing skills shortages, increasing levels of poverty, in work poverty, poverty of aspiration and so it continues. Behind the press releases and policy announcements, the day to day reality for many council residents, employees, partners and employers is not as good as it could or should be.

Who owns this, who is responsible and who can change it?

In short, often nobody owns this. We have local authorities, LEPs, government departments, training providers, colleges and voluntary sector organisations amongst others working in areas, usually funded by different funders, looking for different outcomes. The more you uncover, the more complex it becomes. But it’s rare for anyone to be able to point to something that is helping residents who need anything beyond light touch help, progress towards and into work. And increasingly, employers are not able to get what they need.

But if nothing changes, nothing will change.

Cost to the Public Purse

In 2009, London Borough of Haringey ran a pilot programme, Families Into Work. It found that the cost to the public purse of a workless resident in Northumberland Park (near Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium) and one of the most deprived wards in London was £58,000. It was £178,000 for a family of four when you include criminal justice interventions.

Since then there has been very little similar worklessness research work done in the last 10 years.

Recent figures for someone out of work and moves into a job paying the Living Wage, found:

  • The Government gains £6,900 on average. This is from benefit savings, increased tax take and reduced administration costs. (‘fiscal’)
  • The local economy is boosted by £14,400 a year. This is from increased productivity and disposable income, which creates spend and demand in the local economy. This adds up very quickly – for each 20,000, the boost is £289 million a year. (‘Society’)
  • Individuals are better off by £6,500 a year. (‘Individual’)

We can demonstrate a ROI of 1:500 on our five-step approach.

We can also demonstrate ROI 1:26 to 1:43 in year one which equate to 1:786 to 1:1305 over a 30 year period.

Without something changing, these costs will only continue, who will take responsibility and how do you do it?