Businesses in London have a role to play in reassuring employees from EU countries who are worried about their future post-Brexit, the leader of Westminster City Council has said.
The call came as Cllr Nickie Aiken spoke to members of seven Westminster Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) covering the borough.
Westminster Council has just launched an advice line for EU nationals, working together with the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. The Council also plans to work with foreign embassies to hold a series of events in the run-up to Brexit as part of a package of support.
Cllr Aiken told the audience of business leaders: “We have already launched a support service for Westminster’s EU nationals. This will help our residents navigate the uncertainty facing them as a result of Brexit.
“Of course, many of the employees living in Business Investment District areas are not Westminster residents but are EU nationals who will be equally concerned about what the future holds. Perhaps this is an area we could collaborate on in the coming months, to extend the basic services we have established for residents to employees.”
Cllr Aiken also used the speech at Le Meridien in Piccadilly to call on employers to back the “My Westminster Club” – a new council initiative designed to give more opportunities to young people.
“The Young Westminster Foundation has undertaken research which shows that twenty percent of our young people are not aware of the opportunities open to them in Westminster,” she said.
“The My Westminster Club will help our young people grow into exceptional Westminster citizens. It will offer our teenagers real work experience and easy access to enlightening activities in the most high profile institutions the city has to offer.”
Business leaders could help young people “as they mature into adulthood”, Cllr Aiken said, adding: “If we can help them broaden their horizons, they may be inspired to develop the skills and new ideas that will refresh our city in ten years’ time.”