Islington council slammed for not employing young Islington residents

The council has been slammed for failing to employ more young Islington people after it emerged they make up less than two per cent of its staff.

With youth unemployment soaring, only 56 of 3,153 Islington Council employees live in the borough and are aged between 18 and 25 – a Freedom of Information (FoI) request obtained by the Gazette showed.

In total there are 204 aged between 18 and 25 working at the council.

Richard Bunting, leader of the Islington Conservatives, said: “This is a shocking figure because Islington is a young borough with lots of young people.

“The council could be more pro-active, advertising vacancies locally first and expanding the apprenticeship scheme.”

Jane Doolan, branch secretary of Islington Unison, said: “This small percentage doesn’t surprise me.

“The council could ensure it employs more young people by bringing services back in-house, which would give it control over recruitment.”

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Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of Islington Liberal Democrats, said: “The council has a leadership role in getting young people jobs and is failing miserably. It has a huge pot of money for apprenticeships which it is not spending.”

Islington Council says the figure of 56 does not include 18 to 25-year-olds who work in Islington’s schools or for contractors such as Enterprise, Aquaterra and Homes for Islington which manage parks, streets, leisure centres and housing.

The council has agreed to increase the proportion of residents employed in its workforce from 23 per cent to 30 per cent in 2014 through the Fairness Commission.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “We absolutely want to employ more people from Islington of all ages and are bringing in new recruitment guidance to support this.

“Young people need help finding jobs in these difficult times of huge Government cuts, which have reduced our recruitment.

“We are working closely with Islington businesses to increase apprenticeships, mentoring, work experience and jobs offered locally.”

The council is taking on 30 apprentices next spring and plans to offer 14 to 16-year-olds paid work experience.