Glasgow is rolling out a £1.2 million support package to secure its future as a ‘Fair Work City’ ensuring everyone benefits from our economic success.
Councillors today (13 June) considered an update on a wide programme of activities being carried out to deliver inclusive economic growth, reducing poverty and inequality.
One example is the major Barclays development in Tradeston where, thanks to work done in partnership with Scottish Enterprise,341 disadvantaged residents will be supported into quality, sustainable jobs.
To help deliver this inclusive economic growth, a number of priorities have been identified as necessary: fair work practices such as the Living Wage (2019 marks 10 years of the Glasgow Living Wage); advanced digital skills for the local population; entry level skills/work readiness; access to flexible, affordable and good quality childcare (0-16yrs); a transport network that takes people to jobs; support for health and wellbeing, including mental health being in employment is a key intervention to prevent ill health; and basic digital skills/literacy.
Earlier this year, the council approved £1.2million to help deliver these priorities and ensure Glasgow becomes a Fair Work City. Fair Work has been described – by the Fair Work Convention – as work that offers all individuals an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect, generating benefits for individuals, organisations and society and balancing the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers.
In order for Glasgow to become a Fair Work City, these principles are embedded across the council, including areas such as business support, procurement and inward investment.
The council also supports parts of the city economy such as the care sector, retail, hospitality and tourism where employment is sought by residents who may face barriers to employment or are removed from the labour market. In partnership with other organisations, the council is developing a range of in-work progression models where employees in the public and private sectors can gain access to learning and training opportunities that advance career prospects.
The council is also working – through its Social Enterprise Strategy – on proposals on how best to support a sector that plays a vital role in creating a fairer and more inclusive society and generates around £800million for Glasgow’s economy.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “For too long, too many people in Glasgow have been excluded from the economic success that the city has enjoyed. Becoming a Fair Work City is about closing that gap. There are a number of major large-scale economic opportunities coming our way over the next few years, and it is crucial for the city’s social and economic wellbeing that we ensure that all of our people have access to them and can benefit. Our Fair Work programmes are geared towards allowing everyone in Glasgow to share in its growth – something that will be good for all of us.”
The success of Fair Work businesses will be recognised by the council’s sponsorship of the Glasgow Business Award for Fair Work at the Glasgow Business Awards, to be hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce in October.
To support new and existing businesses in some of the most deprived areas of the city, the council offers the Community Business Boost, which provides part-funding of premises costs over a two-year period to support local job creation and economic growth.
As part of the efforts of the council’s Invest Glasgow team to attract investment to the city, there will be a focus on attracting investors who recognise Fair Work practices which help to reduce inequality and improve people’s lives.
Other programmes helping Glasgow residents into training and employment include the Assisted Garden Maintenance Service, which supports young people and the long-term unemployed into employment through a partnership between the council, Jobs and Business Glasgow and the Scottish Government.
The council is working with Skills Development Scotland to ensure that an increasing number of Glasgow’s young people gain IT skills and qualifications – the city is Scotland’s biggest digital, with almost 13,000 technology job vacancies every year.
Finally, the Glasgow Guarantee – which has placed over 9,000 young people into employment over the past decade – will be reviewed with a view to expanding its reach beyond solely supporting young people. Some of the changes proposed include a wage subsidy for Glasgow residents furthest from labour market on recognised employability programmes; support of apprenticeship costs of up to 50%; promoting apprenticeship opportunities to care leavers and those with disabilities up to age of 29; and a training fund of up to £1,000 where participants can gain relevant and recognised qualifications.