Sadiq Khan is on a mission to get London back on its feet again.
After a very long 18 months living under Covid restrictions, the London Mayor is determined to help those across the capital who have lost their jobs or have been subjected to low wages through a new and exciting employment scheme.
The £11 million package has been split between London’s Adult Education Budget (AEB) and the Mayor’s Academies Programme (MAP) to help provide jobs among the hospitality, digital, creative, green and health and social care industries.
READ MORE: What keeps Sadiq Khan awake at night, his fears and hopes for London and what comes after Covid
Courses in the above sectors will be free and available to complete in the individuals own time. Whether that’s part-time, online or in the evenings, the Mayor wants to ensure that no one is left behind.
And after the Marble Arch Mound’s disastrous reception last month after it was revealed to have cost £6 million, the Mayor told My London he wishes Westminster City Council well with the controversial project.
Speaking at the Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle on Wednesday (September 1) he said with a smile: “It’s a bold decision by the council, I do wish them well.
I understand they want to get people back to the West End, those shops on Oxford Street and restaurants around Mayfair need people back.
“The council’s attempt to get people back to Marble Arch to see the mound with the hope people will go to Oxford Street for shopping or for the restaurants hasn’t happened so far – but I’m hoping and wishing them well.
“It’s in all of our interests for people to come back to the West End.”
Sadiq was out in Elephant and Castle speaking to Londoners who have benefited from his hospitality and creative programmes.
Under strict instructions from Mercato’s baristas, the Mayor even had a go at making a coffee or two, and enjoyed sampling some local gelato from Battersea.
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Mercato Metropolitano was praised by the Mayor because it’s an accredited London Living Wage employer that focuses on sustainability and environmental protection.
Following reports of the hospitality sector having a nationwide staff shortage because of ‘bullying, low-pay and burn-out’ among employees, the Mayor stressed how important it is for employers to look after their staff – and will not be working with employers that employ staff on zero-hour contracts.
He told My London: “P art of the conditions of us supporting London employers is that they’re getting skilled labour and they’ve got to treat them well. We’re not going to support employers that give zero hours contracts.
“People shouldn’t be forced to work long hours and having a work-life balance is really important, one of the things many of us have realised during the pandemic is getting the work-life balance right.
“It’s in the employer’s interest to treat their workers right because of Brexit and the pandemic, otherwise workers will leave and go somewhere else.
“What they (the Mercato Metropolitano) are doing here is a good example of what good employers do, they treat employers well and give them paths to progression.”
The Mayor went on to say that London does not want a repeat of the 1980s, which saw mass unemployment rip through the country and saw three million people without jobs at its peak.
Londoners will be able to sign up for courses at Further Education Colleges, Sixth form colleges and other educational establishments across the capital.
Sadiq hopes as more people return to the office, London’s economy will continue to improve.
“Many business in London rely on people returning to the office, the coffee shops, the restaurants, the dry cleaners, public transport and TfL – we’re trying to encourage people to come back to the West end, not just for working but also for its entertainment, theatres and live music.
“We’re trying to make sure everyone’s first experience is a good one, not just because we love London but because London’s economy relies upon people making contribution to the West end.”
You can find out more about the Mayor of London’s programme to offer Londoner’s free training and jobs here.
Are you a Londoner who’s changed careers during the pandemic? How has your career changed since the pandemic? Let us know your story by contacting Ruby at [email protected]