“We are determined to do all we can to put our residents into the best possible position to find good jobs. Our vision for Wirral is based on a strong local economy and this report presents an excellent opportunity for the Council to work with colleagues throughout the City Region to support residents to improve their employability skills and opportunities to find work.”
Reason for Decision:
Despite success in reducing worklessness, Wirral has persistent levels that far exceed regional and national averages. The Ways to Work programme provides services to support adults and young people into employment and as such supports a number of pledges within the Wirral Plan.
(1) Cabinet welcomes the Letter of Intent from DWP notifying the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority of a successful application to the 2014 to 2020 European Social Fund programme (subject to funding agreement) and agrees the approach as set out in the report as noted;
(2) on receipt of a funding agreement from Merseytravel, as accountable body for the Combined Authority bid, the Assistant Chief Executive in consultation with the Head of Legal and Member Services be authorised to finalise negotiation and accept the funds on behalf of the Council;
(3) the Assistant Chief Executive and Strategic Director, Families and Wellbeing be authorised to commence procurement and activity and select a supplier(s) to deliver the commissioned services as outlined in Appendix 1 of the report;
(4) the Strategic Director, Families and Wellbeing be authorised to commence delivery of the Intermediate Labour Market programme as outlined in paragraphs 3.9 and 3.11 of the report;
(5) the Assistant Chief Executive be authorised to respond to changes to financial allocations across the Wirral and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Ways to Work programme as outlined in Table 4 of the report; and
(6) the call-in period for the recommendations in the report be waived, owing to the time critical nature of the procurement/delivery as outlined in the report.
The report, informed members of the successful outcome (subject to funding agreement) of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority application to the European Social Fund (ESF) programme to support adults and young people into employment. The report set out the implications for Wirral and the local delivery model which included a combination of in-house delivery and commissioned activity.
The programme, to be known as the Ways to Work programme, supported the aspirations of the Wirral Plan and specifically the following pledges:
· PLEDGE 3: YOUNG PEOPLE ARE READY FOR WORK AND ADULTHOOD
Reducing the number of young people classified as NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training).
· PLEDGE 4: VULNERABLE CHILDREN REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL
A commitment to ensure that every child who leaves care has the opportunity to start work, further their education or enrol on an apprenticeship;
· PLEDGE 8: GREATER JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN WIRRAL
Growth Plan – ‘Wirral will be a place where employers want to invest, business thrives and high quality jobs are provided and where all our residents are able to contribute to and benefit from sustained prosperity and a good quality of life’, and
· PLEDGE 16: WIRRAL RESIDENTS LIVE HEALTHIER LIVES
Draft Healthier Lives Plan – ‘The Department of Health estimated that health services, although important to our health and wellbeing, only contribute about 20% of our health status. The other 80% is determined by access to employment and education opportunities, income, good housing, education, transport links and supportive social networks’.