An event held this week aims to ensure that people living in the South Bank area benefit from local job opportunities.
Major employers from the South Bank, Blackfriars and Waterloo area and representatives of public-sector agencies attended a South Bank Employers' Group employment and skills event at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday.
50,000 people currently work on the South Bank [the area west of Blackfriars Road and north of Lambeth Road]. But business bosses admit that there has been inadequate support to ensure people living in the area and in more deprived neighbourhoods nearby benefit from new job opportunities.
"The South Bank is the economic engine of Lambeth," says Cllr Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council.
"We are committed to encouraging development and new jobs in this vibrant neighbourhood and determined to help local people access these job opportunities. South Bank Employers' Group is a key partner in this objective and the event has highlighted that employers have the capacity to make a real difference."
Friday's event was chaired by Dr Mike Wilkinson, pro vice chancellor of London South Bank University. He said: "We are delighted with the attendance at the event. It shows the commitment of major local employers and their sub-contractors to recruit locally and sets the scene for further work by South Bank Employers' Group and partners to help local people access jobs in the area."
One of the projects highlighted at the event was the recent collaboration between Waterloo Job Shop and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
"As an organisation we found the programme very useful," says Sandra Bridges from Guy's and St Thomas'.
"Within the brief to fill 26 vacancies, Waterloo Job Shop carried out telephone interviews focused on customer service and instilled confidence in the candidates. So when it came to the final interviewing process, we had a better quality of candidates to interview… I will definitely be using the Waterloo Job Shop again."
Waterloo Job Shop has already begun another programme of recruitment for SE1's two hospitals to fill a further 80 housekeeping vacancies, plus a further 40 work experience placements by March 2008.