I am writing today to address an issue that has been a growing concern for us in West London — the high levels of economically inactive individuals in our region. These are individuals who are not currently engaged in employment or actively seeking work. It’s a problem that’s been lurking in the background for quite some time, yet it’s a problem that can no longer afford to be neglected.
Economic inactivity isn’t a solitary issue; it is a symptom of a multitude of complex socio-economic factors, including poor educational opportunities, systemic unemployment, social exclusion, and health-related issues. At Action West London, we passionately believe that one key solution lies in strong employer engagement.
To start with, let’s explain what employer engagement entails. It’s not just about the recruitment process; it’s a holistic approach that includes building relationships with local employers, understanding their needs, and developing strategies to connect them with potential employees in our community. These strategies involve various mechanisms, such as training programmes, mentorship initiatives, apprenticeship opportunities, and direct placements.
Here’s why this approach is critical:
Employer engagement ensures that job opportunities are not just vacant posts on a website but are linked to individuals who are most in need. It encourages employers to extend their boundaries, consider non-traditional candidates and understand the benefits of diversity in their workforce.
It provides a roadmap for individuals to gain the skills that are in demand. Our role is not just to help people find jobs; we need to prepare them for long-term careers. This includes working with employers to develop training programmes tailored to meet their specific needs and the evolving labour market.
Ongoing engagement with employers facilitates support for these individuals even after they’ve been placed in jobs. This might involve providing continued training, mentorship, or assistance in addressing any barriers that may hinder their job performance or retention.
Our approach at Action West London
Our approach goes beyond getting people into work; it’s about sustaining employment and nurturing a passion for lifelong learning and growth. As a social enterprise, we are committed to social justice, and this means empowering individuals to break the cycle of economic inactivity and create a better future for themselves, their families, and the West London community.
But we cannot do this alone. We need a collective effort from all stakeholders – local authorities, businesses, educational institutions, third sector organisations, and the individuals themselves. As employers, you hold the power to effect significant change.
To the businesses in West London, I implore you to join us in this cause. Let’s work together to shape an inclusive and vibrant economic future for West London. Let’s provide opportunities and create a more equitable society where everyone has the chance to thrive.
I truly believe in the transformative power of work and the potential of every individual in our community. Let us all play a part in igniting a movement towards an economically active West London. Together, we can create a brighter future.
Thank you for your commitment to this important cause.
CEO, Action West London