Over the past two years, as Mayoral lead for Social Justice policies I have been in a position to ensure the delivery of a new equalities policy “Equal Life Chances for All” that not only recognises the differences between communities and individuals but endeavours to mainstream solutions rather than treat each group, as defined by law, as a separate body – a salami slice of London.
The policy recognises different needs but, pre-dating the Single Equality Act, pulls people together rather than divides them up into competing sets of interests. We all recognise that the disabled deserve special support, gender, faith, sexuality, ethnic differences require, and deserve acceptance, understanding and a lack of prejudice – discrimination – in the work place. These “differences” should be irrelevant to employment and promotion.
That is the basis of “Equal Life Chances for All” and I am proud to be its sponsor
In parallel and conjunction with this policy, I also act as sponsor for “Responsible Procurement” policies and “Diversity Works for London”. The latter, a public company sponsored on-line programme that helps companies analyse their employment practises and identifies ways in which they can modify them to achieve a gold standard for employment. Over 300 companies a week are seeking advice and are going through the programme, changing the face of employment opportunities across London. 65 of the FTSE 100 are subscribers and over 3700 companies have signed up.
So successful has it been that I know a number of European cities are considering adapting it for their own use.
We are leading the way and setting the standard.
Responsible Procurement looks at the way in which the £3.5 billion of GLA group procurement is conducted.
We have analysed our sources of supply and are directing purchasing to London’s businesses and SME’s wherever possible – creating jobs across all sectors. Not only that, but by influencing and negotiation with the supply chain we are ensuring the creation of apprenticeships and training opportunities, delivering the Mayor’s green objectives and policies and attacking workloads.
As a result of the success of the programme, local authorities across London are now signing up to the programme. Their combined purchasing power is over £30bn a year, a very significant impact on London’s economy.
These three policies are making a difference in London and I am proud to lead on them.