Kingston Council commits to new service to help residents find jobs

A new Kingston Work Match service will provide support to those who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Economic Recovery Task Force has committed to Kingston Work Match as the number of people furloughed in the borough reaches almost 23,000. The scheme is at the heart of the task force’s ‘fairer and greener’ recovery approach.

It is anticipated that unemployment and redundancy will rise sharply in the borough when the Government furlough scheme comes to an end in October.

Partners on the Economic Recovery Task Force recognise the urgent need to reskill and prepare people for jobs. The aim is to launch the new job brokerage service by September 2020.

Kingston Work Match will work closely with employers to understand their needs and requirements, and support job seekers to access available vacancies.

The council will be purchasing the service from Wandsworth Council, who operate a highly successful job brokerage scheme that has supported over 1,500 local people to find employment.

The Leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Caroline Kerr said:

“COVID-19 has brought great uncertainty and disruption to us all. The task force feels really strongly that we want to help and support the many residents who are now facing additional financial pressures brought by the possibility of redundancy.

“We want to do everything we can to support people across Kingston by equipping them with the skills and confidence they need for the job market.”

“Job brokerage is proven to be highly effective in getting people into jobs and onto sustainable career paths. This is exactly the kind of support we feel we should be offering residents as part of a green and fair recovery.”

The Kingston Economic Recovery Task Force was created in July in response to COVID-19 and the resulting economic challenges the borough faces both now and in the future.

The taskforce, a partnership between the council, public sector and businesses* is guiding and coordinating Kingston’s economic recovery with the aim of a fairer and greener economy by being more resilient, productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.

The scheme is delivering essential support programmes and activities to enable residents and businesses to adapt and thrive in the post pandemic world.

To date Kingston Council support for the local economy and businesses includes:

  • Rapid delivery of government business grant programmes - £28.9M of grants have been provided, 94.3% of the Kingston allocation from Department of Business, Enterprise, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) paid to approximately 2011 retail, hospitality, leisure businesses by July 2020.

  • Immediate implementation of a new 90-day business support programme, engaging 360 businesses through webinars, online training and one to one support.

  • The successful safe re-opening of the borough’s town centres, coordinated and managed closely with local partners. 

  • Enhanced targeted communications to the business community, with the launch of a new regular ‘COVID-19 business newsletter’ distributed to 3,500 businesses in the borough.

  • The completion of a bespoke Kingston Business Survey in April 2020 to capture feedback on business impact and needs, to inform ongoing and future support strategies.

  • The launch of the ‘Discretionary Grant Fund’ promoted by the UK government to benefit a range of businesses not addressed by previous grants. This has now been  extended by the council to a wider criteria to enable support to be given to more businesses.  More information about the fund and the application process.    

  • Kingston Adult Education has recently been awarded funding to run new educational courses with individual mentor support. ‘Kingston Works’ courses include: digital skills, English and job readiness.

For further information please email [email protected] or call 07892 765 026.

*Members of the Economic Task Force include: 

Kingston Council

Kingston First

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Kingston University

Kingston College

Greater London Authority 

Department of Work & Pensions

Chessington World of Adventures, Merlin Entertainments

AVIVA Investors

Lidl GB Ltd 

South London Partnership 

Unilever UK & Ireland 

Pangea Connect