Agenda item

Variation to Haringey Higher Level Skills contract agreement with GLA

[Report of the Director for Housing, Regeneration and Planning.  To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Corporate Services]


This report requests that Cabinet increase the contract amount for the Haringey Higher Level Skills programme, match funding GLA investment.


The Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Corporate Services introduced the report which sought approval to increase the provision of higher level skills qualifications in Haringey, which are required to enable residents to access Good Work opportunities in the neighbourhood and in the London labour market. 


The Assistant Director for Regeneration and Economic Development responded to a question from Councillor Ogiehor:

-           The focus on the programme was to help people to secure higher level skills so that the Council can address issues such as in work poverty. This meant targeting not just unemployed individuals, but also those in low wage and insecure employment. This approach was part of the Council's vision for a Good Economy which included helping residents secure Good Work, by which was meant, more secure work with better terms and conditions, so that residents and their families could improve their quality of life.


RESOLVED that Cabinet


1.         Approve match funding the GLA’s proposed investment into HHLS by a further £67,428, taking overall commitment to £517,428, and continuation of the GLA’s management thereof;


2.         Approve the reprofiled performance (4.3.1)


Reasons for decision


Need for higher level skills in fluctuating labour market

Most opportunities for Good Work in London, work that provides at minimum London Living Wage with opportunities for progression, require residents to have higher level skills to access. Higher level skills are considered as those at Level 3 (L3) and above (L3 is equiavalent to A levels and BTEC Nationals). Only 4% of jobs in the London Labour market require no qualifications and just 9% require NVQ1 (equivalent to GCSE grades 3,2,1).


Residents with L3 and above qualifications are under represented in Haringey compared to the wider labour market, meaning local people are locked out of accessing opportunities available to them.


The HHLS programme delivers L3 courses to unemployed residents focused on specific growth sectors identified in the Good Economy Recovery Action Plan (Construction, Railway Engineering, Health and Social Care). It also supports in work progression, providing the same L3 opportunities to residents in work with lower skills levels.



Since the Covid-19 pandemic, NLPC has seen a significant rise in the demand for the programme from residents, and has achieved all of its targeted output numbers for unemployed residents for the lifetime of the grant (original grant April 2019-March 2022, additional year agreed due to Covid19 disruption, end date March 2023). NLPC continues to provide employment support but is no longer able to register unemployed residents for L3 courses as funding to do so has been exhausted.


Value for money

By match-funding the GLA investment, we maximise the number of opportunities for higher level qualifications we can lever for residents from our investment, by March 2023:











Achieving one unit L3





Entry to Employment/Job Progression










LLW bonus










Overall Unit Cost






The overall unit cost submitted with the original contract was £6,923.08; the overall unit cost for the increase of 20 sustained results is £6,742.74, delivering better value for money whilst being as close to original conversion and unit cost rates as calculations allow.          


Supporting the Employment and Skills Recovery Action Plan (ESRAP)

Haringey has experienced exponential rise in unemployment within the borough since March 2020 (177% increase), and has the highest claimant count rate for central London (11.3%). ESRAP, collaboratively produced with borough partners, identifies priority growth sectors for employment support in the medium term, which HHLS delivers courses in (STEM, Construction and Health and Social Care). ESRAP also outlines a need to address in work poverty in the borough, which HHLS works to support by supporting residents who are in work to upskill.


Funding has already been agreed to support the delivery of the Good Economy Recovery Plan and associated ESRAP, which this programme and extension continues to play a pivotal role in.


Alternative options considered


Option to not extend

The project could be delivered to the existing grant award. However this would result in the high demand of residents seeking support being turned away. With its base in Northumberland Park, the localised reach of NLPC means many of the residents accessing its services are not likely to access other employment provision in the borough.


Option to increase profile only for unemployed participants

It is possible to increase the performance targets for unemployed residents with no further additions to support employed residents. There is however limited in-work support within the borough outside of this programme at a time where in-work poverty is increasing and is not met by national provision. Reducing the focus for in-work support through this programme at this time feels counter to the Council’s commitment to support Good Work principles, which includes a focus on progression.  


Option to increase by £49,928 keeping total commitment below £500,000

This option was considered for expediency of decision making, in order to respond to the need not to continue stalling delivery. However, the loss of additional £35,000 to the project with GLA match would result in missing out on sufficient additional outputs to reflect a worthwhile variation.

Supporting documents: