Michelle May is Director of Socio-Economic Regeneration at LLDC
As someone who was born and bred in Newham, one of the reasons I was drawn to working at LLDC was its commitment to providing new opportunities for people living in east London.
With the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sitting across four boroughs – Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest – LLDC’s partnerships with local authorities, community groups and businesses have been crucial to providing opportunities for local people.
To date, we have an excellent track record of supporting local people from all backgrounds to secure jobs and apprenticeships.
Many residents across the boroughs already have careers on the Park, working in iconic venues like the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena. Others are part of our construction workforce, bringing new developments like East Bank, an ambitious culture and education district, to the Park. East Bank promises to bring even more opportunities for local people across a range of sectors at world leading institutions such as the BBC, V&A, Sadler’s Wells, UCL and UAL’s London College of Fashion.
But before East Bank opens its doors, residents need to know that these opportunities are for them.
That is why we are investing more than £2 million into an exciting new space at Hackney Bridge on the Park which will become a focal point for local people seeking Park-based careers and for employers looking to recruit diverse, local talent. This is called the Good Growth Hub.
Opening in April, the Good Growth Hub will offer a range of high quality career programmes including London Living Wage-paid internships, support for freelances, apprenticeships, careers advice and coaching.
Our ambition is that the Hub becomes an exemplar of how to deliver Good Growth - making sure that the Park is a place of opportunity for all. We hope that by increasing the visibility of our programme we will attract even more local young people and employers to get involved and in doing so increase our reach and impact.
We know that there is a huge pool of local talent that the Good Growth Hub will tap into, not only providing jobs for east Londoners, but also helping local businesses to thrive and to diversify the growing creative, cultural and technology sectors on and around the Park.
One of our greatest assets in making the Hub a success is local partners who are passionate and skilled at finding ways to excite and prepare young people for work. We will bring all of that expertise into the Good Growth Hub and add new employers and organisations coming to the Park who share this commitment to the mix. Working with the likes of Here East, East Bank partners and businesses in the Hackney Wick/Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone, the Good Growth Hub will be a gateway to careers that many of us will scarcely have imagined.
As part of our commitment to co-design, we are also working with UCL’s institute for Global Prosperity to help us to develop a more meaningful set of outcomes to measure the impact the Good Growth Hub will have on the communities we are here to serve through a Youth Prosperity Index.
We will also be working hard to link our work with existing community hubs across the 4 local boroughs so that as many local residents as possible get to hear about the range of exciting career and business opportunities available and coming.
We want the Good Growth Hub ‘offer’ to be accessible and relevant to young people and employers and are working with Hackney Quest and local social enterprise The Plug, to enhance existing initiatives and co-design new programmes.
We will also be forming a Good Growth Hub Board, with representatives from the boroughs, employers, local community organisations and young people to oversee delivery and to ensure the Hub is sustained beyond the life of the LLDC.
As we work towards the launch of the Good Growth Hub, we want to send out an open invitation to businesses, sector representatives and sponsors to join us in making the Hub an exemplar of how to deliver Good Growth, where diverse talent is celebrated and our communities can thrive.