To consider the report of the Portfolio Holder: Education, Employment and Skills and the Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning.
The LCR Combined Authority considered a report of the Portfolio Holder: Education, Employment and Skills and the Director of Policy and Strategic Commissioning which reported on the delivery of Households into Work programme and identified key conclusions.
Metro Mayor S Rotheram referred to Councillor I Maher, the previous Portfolio Holder, for his work in overseeing the development of the programme and the innovative approach to helping people with significant difficulties with multiple complex needs into employment.
Mayor J Anderson OBE, Portfolio Holder: Education, Employment and Skills, reported that the Devolution Deal had provided the ability to introduce a welfare to work programme. He reported that there had been a strong desire to address inclusive growth and support families and individuals who want to return to work. He highlighted how this was a complex task and the programme had subsequently made a significant impact on people’s lives. Whilst the financial impact was difficult to identify there was an immense social impact from the programme. The programme had evidenced how through a number of interventions the complex needs of people could be supported. In conclusion, Mayor J Anderson OBE advised that the final conclusions would be submitted to Government with a request for further funding to continue the Households into Work programme. He suggested that the City Region should adopt a Households into Work approach to a wider spectrum of projects.
Metro Mayor S Rotheram invited two people who had participated and benefitted from the programme, Emma and Michael, to say a few words about their experience.
Michael explained that he had been on the programme for 5 months and at first he was slightly nervous as he didn’t think the programme was for him. However, through the Pathways Star Michael had witnessed first-hand the progress he had made which motivated him to consider employment opportunities. As such he had secured a part time job at Liverpool One, had purchased a bike to help him get to work and was looking to support his children.
Emma had been on the programme for 10 months. Previously to this, she had participated in other programmes were support had been promised but had not materialised so she was hesitant about participating in the programme, however, she soon realised that this programme would provide her with the support and training opportunities to pursue her dream job of becoming a personal trainer. Emma’s mentor explained that she had left a violent relationship where she had not been allowed to leave the house or go to the gym, so her dream job felt impossible to reach. With a lot of hard work Emma had qualified as personal trainer in January 2019 and was about to start a sports massage course. She was pursuing self-employment opportunities and had booked a holiday for her and her daughter.
Metro Mayor S Rotheram thanked both Michael and Emma for sharing their stories and congratulated them both on the transformations they had made too their lives. He remarked on how a programme which offered rewards instead of punishments should be adopted nationally.
RESOLVED – That:-
(i) the performance update on Households into Work though to March 2019 be noted; and
(ii) the findings from the qualitative evaluation, and the impact that the services have had in supporting people in difficult circumstances be noted.