9 Feb 2015

Social landlords have their say at Westminster

  • GreenSquare's Phil Bowley (second from left) joined representatives from other social landlords in the House of Commons

A small party of members from the Give Us A Chance (GUAC) consortium, including GreenSquare’s Head of Regeneration, Phil Bowley, spent the day at the House of Commons recently meeting Ministers and Shadow Ministers. 

The GUAC consortium is made up of 38 social landlords, including GreenSquare, in the employment and skills sector. At the meeting each of the Westminster politicians took the opportunity to hear what GUAC members had to say about their Party’s employment proposals for the Lib-Dems, Conservatives and Labour. 

They debated a wide range of issues including Local Enterprise Partnerships, data sharing, co-locating of Job Centre Plus staff, Troubled Families Programme, Regional Growth Fund, Sanctions and Control Groups to look at long term outcomes.

Twelve GUAC members attended the meetings representing social landlords from across the country. Phil Bowley said: “It was a really interesting and positive day – it was great to hear what the Ministers had to say and to have them welcome our views.

“As the polls are showing that it will be a tight race in May we made the case for social landlords to be actively involved in shaping and delivering employment and skills programmes for our customers.”

So what are the plans?

For the Liberal Democrats, Lord Mike German, set out his Party’s policy for a future Work Programme. The Lib Dems want to see a universal entitlement but with a more localised delivery. Lord German said future bidders would have to demonstrate they had a creditable local infrastructure to be able to deliver a new Work Programme post 2017.

For Labour, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, set out his Party’s Job Guarantee programme, which will be a wage subsidy programme similar to the Future Jobs Fund. He also cited Labour’s approach in Wales where Jobs Growth Wales had engaged the private and SME sectors. Stephen said three quarters of those people taken on by SMEs under the Jobs Growth Wales had remained in work after the six month wage subsidy had finished.

Conservative MP, Rt Hon Esther McVey said her party would continue the type of policies that we had seen over the past five years. The Minister explained that there is a great opportunity to bring forward ideas between now and the development of a new Work Programme in 2017. 

For more information about GUAC, click here.

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