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Since 2001, Enfield has seen a rise in the proportion of working age residents claiming out of work benefits (13.3% in 2001, compared to 14.8% in 2011). As such there is clearly an issue with worklessness in the borough.

Economic inactivity (individuals who are both not in work, and are either not available for work, not seeking work or not wanting to work) in the borough is particularly high. The Council will work on re-engaging this group, addressing individual barriers to work and bringing a substantial number of these residents towards economic activity. With welfare reform likely to affect lone parents and large families, the large proportion of economically inactive women who cite looking after a family as the reason for their inactivity is a particular concern.

Economic Inactivity in Enfield by Lower Super Output Area: 2011

Economic Inactivity by LSOA: 2011
Enlarge the map of Economic Inactivity by LSOA

Source: 2011 Census

It is also clear that a skills deficit in the borough remains. While much is known about the supply side of skill levels in terms of formal qualifications, work on "soft" or employability skills - such as communication ability, team working, time management and problem solving - is also crucial. Employers have noted that vacancies have on occasion not been filled by local residents based on a lack of soft skills and this will be addressed.

In terms of identifying future job opportunities, change in the borough is the biggest factor to consider. A huge decrease in manufacturing jobs has been mirrored to a lesser extent in all employment sectors with the exception of public administration. However, ambitious regeneration programmes, especially in the more deprived east of the borough are forecast to create around 15,000 jobs in Enfield over the coming decades and further jobs in the immediate vicinity of the borough, especially in the Upper Lee Valley area.

Enfield’s 2013-2016 Employment and Skills Strategy sets out a framework for how the Council will tackle unemployment, and how it will raise skill levels in the borough. The Council has identified four key strategic objectives over the next 3 years:

  • Helping people to access and sustain employment
  • Increasing people’s skills and qualifications to access and progress in work
  • Helping businesses to recruit excluded people
  • Increasing inward investment to the borough through physical regeneration programmes

Alongside these objectives, five strategic priorities are being addressed in order for Enfield to realise its employment and skills ambitions:

Priority 1: Maximise employment and business growth opportunities through regeneration opportunities and employment initiatives.

Identify the detailed phasing and scale of the development opportunities, where possible, that are likely to be realised by 2016 in order to meet the 3000 jobs ambition of the outline employment and skills strategy, and the higher targets of a full strategy that aims at restoring parity with the London employment average.

Priority 2: Use Council levers to increase business growth and employment in Enfield

Identify what the Council can do, through its legislative powers and duties, to ensure that developers and businesses benefiting from investment in regeneration and capital projects prioritise their recruitment strategies to benefit local people and businesses.

Priority 3: Improve education and training to increase young peoples’ employment outcomes

Understand the scale and nature of employment opportunities for the period beyond 2016 and how education and skills providers are preparing existing and future students for those opportunities. This includes secondary schools and academies

Priority 4: Take proactive approach to maximise opportunities from macro-economic change and funding

Understand in more detail the reasons behind employment shifts such as those experienced in the public sector and why there are such disconnections between unemployment hotspots and employment opportunities in the borough. Is this an issue of transport and connectivity, the transient nature of the area due to low cost of housing, or is this down to particular issues such as language or even issues around a living wage? 

Priority 5: Facilitate partnership and mobilise partner resources in focused strategy and planning

Understand and plan for the role the Council intends to take in leading or influencing the local employment and skills agenda in the future. It already has the partnership infrastructure in place. However, this needs to reflect the changes in the way in which employment and skills funding will now be invested in the area.

The Council needs to be able to work with partners to secure and co-fund discretionary investment so that this adds value and fills gaps in delivery.

As a result, the Council has drawn up a detailed action plan:

1.The first task for Enfield Council and Partners is to articulate when and how jobs created through regeneration and inward investment opportunities will be realised. Further assessment and analysis to make more detailed projections is in progress and in particular the scale of jobs likely to become available to help meet the c6,000 jobs target required just to maintain 2013 employment levels by 2016.

2. The second task is what Enfield Council and its partners can do to ensure that the jobs that do become available are taken by local residents. This means that where it can, the Council needs to use its legislative and procurement powers to build local agreements with developers and suppliers to secure commitment for local recruitment. With its partners and through the provider infrastructure work, the Council needs to ensure that skills and employment provision is sufficiently developed to respond to the type and level of jobs required by developers and suppliers.

3. The third task is to understand how the Council can use its resources and work with partners to identify sources of funding and support that adds both value and investment into education and training programmes linked to future opportunities. This might include submitting a bid for an area-based Employer Ownership Pilot around green jobs, recognising that spatially-led sectoral bid will have the greatest impact on the local economy or working more strategically through companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility agendas to build sustainability and support through their local supply chains and satellite centres.

Although not home to many head offices, Enfield is home to a number of key employers, so it needs to work with its partners to ensure the best local deal and investment from national and larger employers into the area. The Cabinet and the Corporate Management Board of Enfield Council are exploring how to maximise investment, more intelligent use of companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility and better communications with business and partners with the support of a study undertaken by the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change at the University of Manchester. This work will inform the development of the wider employment and skills strategy.

4. The fourth task is determining what the Council can do to ensure that there is a commitment from employers to develop the skills of the local workforce and from local services and providers to improve responses to employers’ needs. The Council needs to use its influence to marshal a single offer of skills and employment support to the business community which will help to ensure that those residents in and out of work are building their own skills and earning potential as well as ensuring that the local workforce is prepared to respond to the future skills needs of the borough. Good progress in 2013/2014 in this area would ensure that businesses and employers engage more fully in planning up to 2025 (the final year of the 2010-2025 Enfield Core Strategy

Further information on this topic is available from:

Enfield Core Strategy

This page was last updated on 15-Dec-2014.