A new innovative programme to help people into work has secured £3.5m of funding from the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has secured the funding to support households across the City Region where more than one adult is unemployed and in receipt of benefits.
The Households into Work programme is part of the Combined Authority’s Devolution Agreement with the Government, where funding and decision making is made locally to the benefit and needs of local residents. It will support residents who, for a variety of reasons, have been unable to secure employment.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, said “Improving the employment and skills prospects for our residents is a key priority for the Combined Authority. Our Households into Work programme is an example of where assisting our residents with tailored support will help them to prosper, as well as creating opportunities that they might previously not have been able to access. I look forward to seeing this programme develop over the coming months.”
The programme will boost the employment prospects and job outcomes for Liverpool City Region residents by tackling wider family issues such as debt management and health and wellbeing that are impacting on a household as well as providing more traditional employment support. An Employment Advocate will work with the household over a 12 month period to facilitate this integrated approach.
Cllr Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Skills and Apprenticeships added “This programme will be developed based on a foundation of best practice from other successful initiatives that have looked at issues in the whole household and not just an individual. We know that by working together – that’s everyone in the home and those who provide training as well as employment opportunities – then better support is available. It will not be a ‘one size fits all’ offer, but we will tailor the support to the needs of the household, which will offer better outcomes for everyone involved.”
It is estimated that the programme will support 1,600 residents in 800 households over the two year pilot. Residents will be invited to take part in the programme and they can either be referred via Jobcentre Plus or the Troubled Families Programme, households can self-refer or other service providers can refer into the programme, including Revenue and Benefits and housing providers.
David Gauke, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said “We have record numbers of people in work which is great news, but there are still people missing out on the available opportunities because of barriers to employment.
“This scheme led by the Liverpool City Region will further explore ways we can help people to stay in employment so they can provide for their families.
“This pilot is yet another step forward in our efforts to help people of all backgrounds enjoy the benefits of work, and will boost the wide ranging support we currently offer through local experts like Jobcentre Plus.”
Work will now start on developing the programme with a view to the Advocates being in post and support to households commencing in February 2018.