Local spending is the key to helping deprived areasOn 17 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today Employers need to work more closely with government agencies to eradicate unemployment hotspots in the UK.A report by The Industrial Society calls for the Government to devise an effective employment strategy to keep jobs and money in deprived areas and help people in them to get and keep work.The Industrial Society recommends the setting up of a new “Attachment Agency”, which would combine the Employment Service, Benefits Agency and New Deal programme. It would build long-term relationships with employers and jobseekers.The society says individuals should be able to tailor employment and training programmes to companies’ needs.Employment minister Tessa Jowell, who attended the launch, said, “The Government is not in the business of job creation for its own sake, but we want to invest in training and regeneration. We need to have more private and commercial organisations involved in welfare to work programmes.”The report, In Search of Work: Employment Strategies for a Risky World, suggests that official figures understate the true extent of local joblessness. It also argues that the focus on welfare to work is not tackling local jobs gaps.“These local economies lack ‘stickiness’, in that too much money flows out of the area which could be used to build the local employment infrastructure and generate much-needed new jobs,” said Max Nathan, author of the report.There is evidence that residents of the average neighbourhood spend 37 per cent of their money outside the area, while poor areas lose 60-70 per cent of consumer expenditure. The Attachment Agency would attempt to ensure spending stayed within deprived areas.Jowell said employment rates within regions vary by as much as 25 per cent. “There are problems with low levels of skills, loss of confidence among the long-term unemployed and transport problems for people taking up work,” she said.“Our city action teams are addressing these problems, but we have to move beyond a national framework for labour market policies to a more responsive, cooperative form of action.”www.indsoc.co.uk/futuresBy Paul Dinsdale Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
“The financial market plays a central role in this transition and by promoting the market for green bonds, the government wants to increase the opportunities for sustainable investments.” Sweden’s largest pension fund Alecta has welcomed the government’s plan to issue green bonds for the first time by next year – but others have voiced doubts about the proposed environmentally-linked sovereign debt.The Swedish government announced last week that it would instruct the Debt Office to issue green bonds by 2020 at the latest. While green bonds had previously been issued by both public and private bodies in Sweden, this would mark the first state issuance, the government said.The bonds will finance budget expenditure for sustainable schemes and projects, it added.Per Bolund, Swedish financial markets minister, said: “The fact that the state is now issuing green bonds is an important part of the transition towards sustainable development. “The expected return of green bonds should not be lower just because they are qualified as green investments”Magnus Billing, CEO, AlectaIn 2018, the government-commissioned report ‘Promoting the Market for Green Bonds’ concluded that the most important promotion measure would be for the government itself to issue the bonds.Alecta chief executive Magnus Billing told IPE his pension fund welcomed the government’s decision to issue green bonds, and it would participate “if the price is right”.He added: “The expected return of green bonds should not be lower just because they are qualified as green investments. At the moment, the demand for green bonds is much higher than the supply, and that is reflected on the pricing.”Last month, Billing advocated the issuance of Swedish government green bonds in a newspaper opinion piece.AMF casts doubtHowever, Sweden’s third-largest pension fund AMF expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the proposed assets, warning that the bonds risked overturning the green transition in a worst-case scenario.Jonas Eliasson, chief executive of the firm’s AMF Funds unit, said: “As we understand it, it is not possible to earmark certain funding for certain projects in the state budget. This means that these investments would be implemented regardless of whether the green bonds were issued or not. The lower funding cost from green bonds will thus benefit both brown and green objects.”Eliasson added that, although green bonds were in high demand among fund companies wishing to appear sustainable, it was doubtful that investments in government green bonds would be any greener than other government-issued bonds.Swedish life and pensions firm Folksam said that, having already invested over SEK30bn (€2.9bn) in green and sustainable bonds, it welcomed the government’s decision. Tobias Fransson, head of strategy and sustainability, AP4A spokesperson for Folksam said: “The vision of the Folksam Group is that our customers should feel secure in a sustainable world. Sustainable investments that go hand-in-hand with good returns are an important part of our core business.”Although it declined to comment specifically on the planned green bond, national pensions buffer fund AP4 said there had to be a strong connection between green bonds and underlying green assets for the market to be successful.Tobias Fransson, AP4 head of strategy and sustainability, told IPE: “An asset-backed structure where green bonds are backed by green assets would contribute to a unique set of expected return and risk characteristics, which would lower cost of capital for green projects and attract many more investors than at the current situation.”In May, the Dutch government issued the country’s first state green bonds, with European pension funds becoming heavy subscribers to the €5.9bn issue.