Leader’s Blog: From Job Aspirations and Future Careers, to Helping Those Facing Financial Hardship
14th February 2020

Leader’s Blog: From Job Aspirations and Future Careers, to Helping Those Facing Financial Hardship

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and like many organisations, we’ve also been celebrating here at the Council.

It was a real honour to meet our new apprentices at their graduation this week, which is the culmination of their hard work. We also heard from two of our former apprentices, Joshua and Tameka, who talked about their experiences.

The young people currently heading towards the end of their education are going to be entering the most uncertain future ever faced by a generation. Apprenticeships provide great opportunities into work and I’m really pleased we are increasing the opportunities available to them.

Good luck to everyone!


Increasingly, young people tell me they can’t afford go on to further education or university, so as well as increasing the alternative routes into employment, I was clear when I became Leader, we needed to do more to support young people.

We therefore set up the Mair Garside Bursary Award, which is an ongoing bursary to support young people in their studies. I was delighted to welcome Jadene to the Town Hall this week and hand over her cheque.

Universal Credit

It’s difficult to change the world, but you can make changes to individuals’ lives. Not fancy things but things that count on a day-to-day basis.

On Wednesday myself and some of my colleagues met with six residents from across the borough who shared their personal experiences of Universal Credit.

We recognise the importance of listening to those worse affected to help shape our services to provide support where we can and where it is most needed.

Austerity continues to have a big impact on our borough – we have over £130 million from our budget so far and counting. Universal Credit has had a terrible impact on the welfare system and continues to negatively affect the lives of those on the lowest incomes living in Royal Greenwich.

And Universal Credit isn’t going away so we will continue to do what we can to help individuals lives to our best abilities, and ensure young people entering into adulthood are supported.

Council Tax support

We’re doing what we can to help residents and this month we announced that we are increasing support with Council Tax for working-age claimants from 85% to 100%, which will benefit thousands of residents from April 2020.

Have your say

Don’t forget to have your say on our 202/21 budget proposals, which includes plans to protect services for our most vulnerable residents and, most importantly, build a fairer Greenwich.  We really want to hear your views, so if you haven’t already done so please do so before the consultation closes today (Friday 7 February).