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Introduction

To help improve local employment and training opportunities for local residents, the Sedgemoor area adopted an ‘Employment and Skills Charter’ policy.

Summary

  • Local Labour Agreements (LLA) involve a commitment from employers or developers to sign up to the Employment and Skills Charter in order to commit to try and recruit and procure services locally.
  • Where 10 or more jobs are proposed, through adopted planning policy the Council will seek to enter into a Local Labour Agreement secured through either a planning condition or legal agreement (S.106).
  • Smaller employment developments do not need to have a Local Labour Agreement, although a voluntary written commitment (for example, within planning applications) to try to recruit and procure locally will be welcomed and encouraged.

Background

To help improve local employment and training opportunities for local residents, Sedgemoor District Council adopted an ‘Employment and Skills Charter’ policy in May 2009, now included under Policy D15 of the Sedgemoor Local Plan 2011-2032.

Under this policy, for employment developments that propose 10 or more jobs in total, the Council will seek to enter into a Local Labour Agreement with the Developer or Applicant in accordance with the Council’s adopted Employment and Skills Charter that sets out the following:

  • an agreed % target for local labour
  • a training and recruitment plan
  • commitment to an agreed proportion of local procurement of services and supplies.

In the case of very large developments, the local authority may request some degree of information sharing and monitoring of the above, for example, headline recruitment information on a quarterly basis. This will take the form of clause within a legal ‘Section 106’ agreement or be included as a planning condition.

For developments proposing less than 10 new jobs, no formal Local Labour Agreement is required, although adherence to the spirit of the Employment and Skills Charter (for example local recruitment, procurement and training where possible) is welcomed within any formal planning application made.

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Sedgemoor District Council became the first local authority in Somerset to gain the prestigious National Skills Academy for Construction status from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The accreditation means that the Council can work with developers, builders and training partners on construction projects (value over £1million) in the area, to increase economic growth by creating skills, training and employment opportunities.

Our aim in applying for the status is to adopt the approach across all its planning and procurement activities which will lead to more consistency and best practice in terms of employment and skills on sites and in the supply chain.

For more information, please contact the Employment and Skills Manager.

What this will mean in practice, if your company signs up

A Local Labour Agreement is not a formal requirement for the company or developer to always recruit locally, but an agreement with them to take effort and practical measures to recruit and train locally where possible.

For example, this could include advertising locally, linking with the local jobs centre and developing local apprenticeship opportunities. It might also involve engaging with local schools via the Bridgwater Education Trust business mentoring programme or occasionally offering schools a site tour.

The definition of 'local person' and 'local procurement

A ‘local’ person is typically defined as someone already resident in the Sedgemoor area at the time of his or her application for the position vacant.

‘Local procurement’ is defined as the purchase of goods or services from a company or company branch based in Sedgemoor.

Sedgemoor area covers the towns of Bridgwater, Burnham on Sea, Highbridge and Cheddar village as well as the surrounding rural areas.

As a rough guide, most of the following range of postcodes are likely to cover properties in the Sedgemoor area: TA5, TA6, TA7, TA8 TA9, BS25, BA26, BA27 and BA28.

How employment numbers should be counted

Employment numbers should be counted to include both the construction and operational phases of development, including all sub-contractors.

Some degree of estimation is likely to be needed, particularly for the construction phase as this will not always be known at the time of application.

Agreeing to the Local Labour Agreement - If you don't know how many new jobs will be created or, are not sure if it will be more than ten new jobs

In this case, you are invited to agree an LLA voluntarily. Please contact the Skills and Employment officer for further information. It should be a brief process.

Local Labour Agreement - If you are looking to expand the number of staff on an existing site and do not need to make a formal planning application

As this does not require formal planning permission there is no formal mechanism to seek a Local Labour Agreement. However, should the employee expansion be greater than 10 staff, sign-up to a voluntary LLA is still requested where possible.

Developing positive media stories around local recruitment

The local authority will be happy to participate in any positive press releases requested by the company relating to local job opportunities, recruitment and training.

Example text to include in a planning application (If proposing fewer than 10 new jobs)

Yes, some example text is available below:

“The Developer will, throughout the construction and operation phase of the development, to the best of their endeavours:

  • Recruit local people already resident within the Sedgemoor area
  • Procure local products and services
  •  Ensure any sub-contractors also support local recruitment and procurement.”

“The Developer will consider where relevant:

  • Recruiting a local apprentice
  • Accessing local training opportunities as required
  • Encouraging any sub-contractors to consider apprentices and local training.”

The Employment and Skills Charter / template Local Labour Agreement

The Employment and Skills Charter can be downloaded via the Related Documents section below.

However, in practice this level of detail will not be needed, particularly for smaller developments. If an LLA document is required, the local authority will be able to discuss it with you initially and then supply an initial draft for your consideration.

Taking on an apprentice

For general information on apprenticeships, please see either the National Apprenticeship Services or Bridgwater and Taunton College.

Local training courses

For information on local training courses of all kinds, please see the following links:

Somerset Skills and Learning

Bridgwater and Taunton College

Contact us for further information

Our Economic Development Team will be happy to offer you general advice, contacts and ideas on local recruitment and procurement.

Last reviewed: May 9, 2024 by Adam

Next review due: November 9, 2024

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