Funding of £188,858 has been allocated to Glascote in Tamworth to help jobseekers and people on low incomes to find sustainable and better paid jobs.
Glascote is one of nine areas across the region that have been offered a share of £4million as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) new three-year Employment Support Pilot Schemes to help people living in that area get into work.
As well as providing targeted employability support and advice in the heart of local communities to help people find work, the pilot also aims to equip low paid workers with the skills needed to land better jobs.
Overall, the programme will aim to help up to 4,500 people across the nine areas find work and secure better paid jobs, with a particular focus on young people, disabled people and other vulnerable groups.
The money is being made available to the WMCA by the Department for Work and Pensions as part of the wider transfer of powers and funding from Whitehall to the West Midlands following the region’s decision to form a combined authority, led by an elected mayor.
The WMCA, which will be developing the schemes, is now inviting organisations to bid for a slice of the funding to help deliver more tailored jobs support at a local level.
Dr Julie Nugent, the WMCA’s director of skills and productivity, said: “We are determined to use our new powers to make a real difference to people’s lives, addressing the things that matter to them like good homes, jobs and opportunities for the future.
“These Employment Support schemes are part of our investment into community-led projects that help more local people get into work and, for those already in employment, to upskill so they can earn more.
“We are keen to hear from organisations, especially those based locally, who want to work with us in connecting more people to the wide range of job opportunities available across the region.”
The nine schemes will be set up later this year and will run for three years, to boost the support that is already available through Jobcentre Plus.
The location-based support is aimed at making it easier to engage with local residents and to encourage the communities themselves to use their existing social networks to help spread the word about the opportunities and support available.
Evidence suggests that neighbours, extended family members and others in the local community can be an effective channel for getting information to the right people.
They are also effective in helping to strengthen and nurture confidence that there are jobs available, particularly to those whose families may have limited experience of paid employment.
A series of roadshows have taken place across the nine areas this week to provide organisations with more information about the schemes and how to bid, including one at Tamworth Enterprise Centre which was attended by a number of interested parties.
Organisations can also get information about the opportunities on offer by registering at wmca.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.html and at www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/25e30be3-debf-4224-bc3e-ab840b673f72.
The West Midlands Combined Authority is a partnership of 18 local authorities, including Tamworth Borough Council as a non-constituent member, and four LEPs working together to move powers from Whitehall to the West Midlands and its locally-elected politicians.