Ken Livingstone joined forces with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell today to launch two initiatives from the London Employment and Skills Taskforce for 2012 (LEST) action plan.
The Employer Accord will see businesses make available more entry-level opportunities in return for a commitment from the public sector to provide a supply of trained job ready candidates whilst the PreVolunteering Programme will use the prospect of working as a London 2012 Volunteer to encourage workless and socially excluded individuals to complete training in areas such as basic health and safety, customer care and service.
The launch took place at a reception hosted by the Chancellor for the London Child Poverty Commission. The Commission was established by the Mayor and London Councils in response to the capital’s high rates of child poverty – 39 per cent of children in London are living in poverty, the highest rate in Great Britain.
Speaking at the launch Gordon Brown said the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games would be “a great opportunity for us and I believe that it will inspire today’s generation of children – and there are nearly 100,000 young volunteers – to reach their potential and achieve their aspirations.”
Also speaking at the event Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said he championed the Olympic bid because he “saw the potential of the 2012 Games as a major catalyst for tackling some of the capital’s worst social problems.”
The Mayor described worklessness as “the main contributor to child poverty in the capital” and said the skills learnt under the initiatives would “ensure many people who currently lack basic entry level skills training will soon have a range of options to prepare them for employment.”