Friday, January 19, 2024

News: New policy to help local residents access Rotherham jobs


Rotherham Council’s Cabinet is set to approve a Local Labour Policy to add to go alongside an award-winning social value policy.

If approved, the new policy will challenge developers to do more to train and employ local people as part of the planning process.

The policy will enable the Council to work towards its aim to create a more inclusive local economy in Rotherham which will see an increase in opportunities for residents to access training and jobs within the borough.

It will also build on social value work to promote local employment through council spending. Last year, the Council’s Social & Local Economic Value Commitments amounted to £13.6m with 1,500+ weeks of skills and training opportunities committed and 302 employees hired or retained in council related projects.

Recently the Council has used voluntary local labour clauses in planning conditions on major developments in Rotherham, but these will now become an expected part of the Planning process.

Major developments include housing schemes with ten or more dwellings, and the development of floorspace of 10,700 sq ft or more, including change of use applications.

To satisfy planning conditions, applicants will need to get a Local Labour Agreement approved by the council, whose officers will also monitor progress.

Amongst the partners and developers that have voluntarily agreed to arrangements are Wentworth Woodhouse, the Swinton town centre redevelopment scheme, Eastwood trading estate, Bessemer Way at Templeborough, and others across the borough.

Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Mcleod, said: “The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) is committed to providing paid work, volunteering opportunities, training and apprenticeships for the communities of Rotherham and South Yorkshire and has, since taking ownership of the site in 2017, created over 100 new paid jobs for local residents.

“Throughout the site’s regeneration programme, opportunities for apprenticeships and training have been created in traditional heritage skills, administration, finance and accounting, hospitality and film making. By providing these opportunities for local residents, WWPT is building a long-term skilled workforce, resulting in positive economic, social and environmental benefits for the area.

“WWPT believes that Wentworth Woodhouse is an asset for Rotherham, and by working closely with the Council we can ensure that Rotherham residents benefit from the opportunities that its regeneration brings.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “Rotherham Council is committed to supporting and encouraging more training and job opportunities for residents across the whole of the borough, and implementing a Local Labour Policy formalises this commitment. It is another way the Council is ensuring that local people get all the opportunities possible so that we can expand our local economy and keep more Rotherham pounds in the borough.”

The policy will outline two phases of possible training and job opportunities: the ‘construction phase’ where partners will be encouraged to give opportunities to local tradespeople and trainees during the building of the development, and the ‘operational phase’ where plans for employing local people after the build is complete will be outlined.

The Council set out its vision for the borough and priorities in The Council Plan 2022-25. One of the themes was expanding economic opportunities which included supporting people to improve their skills and secure decent work through a range of schemes and initiatives.

Images: WWPT


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