Last updated: 15 June 2023

Priority 1: connecting people with jobs

During the pandemic, we carried out extensive research to understand its impacts on our residents and to act to address them. Over 11,000 people took part in surveys, and a range of focus and research groups were held. We have linked this research with wider economic and social indicators.

Residents’ top concerns were the impact on jobs and family finances, alongside continuing worries about public safety and health.

Residents also wanted to make sure that we tackle the inequalities which have been highlighted throughout the pandemic, and maintain a focus on the prosperity of the borough.

Priority one: connecting people with jobs

Jobs are our residents’ top priority.

Prior to the pandemic, London experienced almost full employment. The help that was given to find jobs were focused on those very far from the labour market. We also focused on improving residents’ skills so that they could increase their incomes.

Now, claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance in the borough are up by 122 per cent since the start of the crisis, and 38,000 residents have been furloughed.

The challenge has become the supply of jobs.

We will do everything in our power to ensure that employers who work and profit in the area seek to employ our residents. This commitment must start with the council and our partners.

We want to make sure all residents can fulfil their potential and find rewarding work. We will support our residents, and work with investors and established local businesses to help create jobs.

Read about jobs and training 

Our five-point plan

1. Creating a local jobs economy

We will strive to ensure jobs for our residents, with a focus on those that have faced disadvantage in the past, and who now face even greater economic challenges.

We will hold a summit of major employers to help create as many local jobs as possible. We will support organisations who work in the borough to advertise and hire from our community, and celebrate those who do. Importantly, this must include council contractors and service providers.

2. A single front door for jobs

Our residents should not have to ask twice for help in finding a job. If there is a suitable job out there, we want to help people find it quickly.

This means we will take a lead role helping employers advertise and hire locally. We will ensure our residents can easily find opportunities on a live jobs feed, and every council worker will be able to signpost people to help and support.

3. Opportunities for our children and young people

The future is most challenging for our young people. We want to provide opportunities, support and guidance to help them meet their potential, especially those who face inequalities that are deeply embedded in our society.

Building on the council’s progress to improve life chances, we will form a new coalition with higher education providers, employers, and support services. This will improve our young people’s employment and skills prospects.

4. Community support for jobs and skills

Community efforts help people into meaningful work and prevent long term unemployment. We will establish a service for skilled volunteers to help residents with the tools and confidence needed to find work. This will harness local expertise to the benefit of everyone.

We will launch an ongoing programme of skills surgeries and expand our ESOL provision. We will support businesses and help new businesses to open, redoubling our campaign to ask our residents to choose local and support everyone. 

5. Waltham Forest as London’s green jobs borough

Our commitment to tackling the climate emergency is also a commitment to local jobs. We will create a pathway to green jobs, making sure people have the right skills and entrepreneurial support to benefit from the growth of the green economy.

The council will work with community groups to deliver green retrofitting services, benefitting from government funding and taking on trusted provider status. This will help making buildings more energy efficient, lowering their impact on the climate, and helping to tackle the borough's carbon footprint.