Home News £35 million of innovative employment schemes to benefit thousands of disadvantaged people

£35 million of innovative employment schemes to benefit thousands of disadvantaged people


Thousands of disadvantaged people and long-term jobseekers to receive specialist support to get back into work through 6 new pilot schemes.

The schemes will be developed and delivered by 6 combined authorities in partnership with the government. The specialist tailored support is expected to help over 18,000 people – including disabled people and older people – tackle long-term barriers to work and in-work progression.

Up to £28 million has been committed by the Department for Work and Pensions for the schemes. They include:

  • a ‘Health and Care Sector Progression Academy’ to train social care workers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • an ‘early intervention’ scheme in Sheffield to prevent people from long-term unemployment
  • a new business-led training hub for modern work skills in the Tees Valley

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke 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.

“These pilots are 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.”

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid added:

“As part of the devolution revolution we’ve handed swathes of power and significant investment to help boost jobs and growth across the country.

“Now we’re going even further to support 6 areas with devolution deals by working with the new combined authority mayors to pilot innovative employment schemes.

“These pilots will trial new approaches to help the most disadvantaged people in our society to get the security of a good job and a regular pay packet, helping to build a country that works for everyone.”

Commenting on the ‘Health and Care Sector Progression Academy’ pilot, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer said:

“This is a prime example of the benefits Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will receive because of our devolution deal with central government. The additional £5.2 million is set to create 600 new apprenticeships, providing us with an opportunity to upskill local people whilst supporting the health and care industry. I am excited to see this pilot develop and help us make a difference in the county.”

Commenting on the new business-led training hub, Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen said:

“Over the last 4 years, the unemployment rate in the Tees Valley has halved. Our economy is growing, and more people are in work providing for themselves and their families.

“Things are getting better, but there remain stubborn barriers to work. This new investment from the government, secured because we have a mayor, gives us a unique opportunity to address long-term unemployment.

“Today I’m calling on local support services, voluntary organisations and local councils to work together to provide the best possible support to help people back to work.”

These new pilots were agreed with 6 combined authority areas as part of ground-breaking devolution deals and the government’s plan to hand new funding and powers back to local areas across the country. These schemes are aimed at boosting growth and jobs by working with the new combined authority mayors.

This announcement follows on from the Work, health and disability: improving lives green paper, which marks the next stage of the government’s action to confront prejudices and misunderstandings within the minds of employers and across wider society.

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