PRESS RELEASE FROM WECA
£3.9m million in funding is coming to the West of England to help improve the skills and opportunities of up to 3,000 adults.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles welcomed the funding from the Department of Work and Pensions, which is coming to the region directly as a result of devolution.
The two-and-a-half-year Innovation Pilot will start in January 2018 and aims to support social housing tenants into secure, more meaningful and better-paid careers.
It will be managed by the West of England Combined Authority and delivered on the ground by Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils, working with housing associations and registered social landlords. Skills navigators will be appointed to work with eligible people to help them improve their earning potential and income by working with them to provide tailored personal and professional development.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This is an important project that will help improve the skills and opportunities of up to 3,000 adults across the region. It will help grow our skills base to ensure a stronger economy and higher quality of life for all.
“Through this scheme, we will work with individuals who are already in employment, claiming in-work benefits and are social housing tenants. We will help them raise their own skill levels and gain more secure and higher-quality jobs.
“I am committed to improving people’s skills and supporting our residents to benefit from the prosperity and opportunities available in the West of England region.”
Secretary of State for Work & 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.
“This new scheme for the West of England will help us explore further ways we can help local people to get into, and remain in work.
“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.”