Wirral Ways to Work Programme - ESF Funding
Decision Maker: Cabinet Member - Jobs & Growth
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Ways to Work Programme is helping to address worklessness in Wirral, an area which has had persistent levels far exceeding regional and national averages for many years. Ways to Work provides services that support adults and young people into employment and training, and therefore successfully supports multiple pledges of the Wirral Plan. Continuation of the Ways to Work programme via additional ESF investment will ensure existing Council funds are maximised more than twofold, and ongoing positive outcomes can be achieved in future years.
1. the Director with Portfolio in consultation with the Director of Finance and Investment be authorised to identify and commit eligible match funds required for Wirral’s Ways to Work Programme in support of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority application to DWP for ESF funding;
2. the submission of an application to DWP via the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for ESF funding to continue the Wirral Ways to Work Programme be approved;
3. the Director with Portfolio in consultation with the Director of Governance and Assurance be authorised to approve changes to the programme and sign any future contractual agreements with the Combined Authority on behalf of the Council;
4. On receipt of a funding agreement from the Combined Authority, the Director of Finance and Investment be authorised to accept the funds on behalf of the Council; and additional approval to respond to any future financial allocations or re-profiling across the wider LCR Ways to Work Programme as appropriate;
5. the future delivery model for a successful funding award as set out in this report be approved;
6. the Director with Portfolio in consultation with the Director of Governance and Assurance be authorised to progress and sign any new commissioned contracts or variations and/or extensions of existing contracts commissioned for this programme.
Alternative options considered:
Do Nothing:The council takes no action and does not participate in the new LCR bid for ESF funds. This option would significantly risk reducing employability service provision within Wirral aimed specifically at supporting unemployed and inactive adults and young people into jobs and training. This option would also weaken the LCR application with one of the constituent LCR partners not taking part. Delivery within the LCR would also be impacted negatively, with a disproportionate effect on availability of services to residents in Wirral compared to those living in the other five LCR local authority areas.
Non-submission of application: Should Wirral not participate in the joint bid for funding, the Council would not be able to secure ESF funds nominally allocated to Wirral which can maximise local resource more than twofold. Additionally, this could jeopardise the Combined Authority bid submitted jointly with other local authority partners to deliver a Liverpool City Region wide programme.
In house delivery: The Council has significant experience in commissioning services with European investment to support residents into employment. Should the Council choose to switch delivery of these services in-house then TUPE could apply from existing suppliers. The Council could additionally have the risk of significant surplus staff at the end of the delivery period owing to the scale of the programme and the time limited nature of the funding.
Urgent item?: Yes
Publication date: 07/03/2019
Date of decision: 07/03/2019