Lambeth has the highest number of people out of work and claiming benefits in London.

A total of 11,830 people were out of work and claiming benefits in Lambeth last month according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday. That equates to 5.6 per cent of the population, well above the London average of 4.2 per cent.

Following the publication of the figures the council pledged to lead from the front in tackling unemployment.

It said it is determined to do everything in its powers to help people get people into work, and has made ‘More Jobs’ one if its top priorities, launching a major campaign earlier this year to drive job creation locally and promote training and apprenticeships.

Councillor Jackie Meldrum, Lambeth Council deputy leader, said: "The figures out today are a sobering reminder that thousands of people in our borough are out of work and struggling to make ends meet.

"We are working with Lambeth’s businesses and colleges, and are determined to do all we can to help people get into work and training. We are not prepared to stand back and see local people suffer during an economic crisis not of their making."

As part of the council’s More Jobs campaign Lambeth has this month employed an apprenticeships coordinator who will work with local businesses and companies that supply services to the council to help connect them with people looking for work.

The council is also making sure that all council contracts contain commitments to create jobs and apprenticeship opportunities. This incudes the new contract for the construction work on the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton which offers training opportunities for young people in construction.

The council recently signed a 20 year pledge with Wandsworth as part of the redevelopment of Vauxhall Nine Elms (VNEB) to create thousands of new jobs, and central to this is a commitment to work with local schools and colleges to provide students with workplace experience, career taster sessions and apprenticeships.

The VNEB scheme is expected to create 32,000 additional jobs over the next 20 years. Last week the council also gave approval for a £600 million development of Elizabeth House in Waterloo that is expected to create dozens of new jobs.

In partnership with Lambeth College, the council has also been holding apprenticeship days for 16-24 year olds that put young people in direct contact with companies from high street banks and construction companies. A recent event saw companies offer 38 apprenticeship opportunities to young people.