In response the high levels of economic inactivity in Tees Valley, in February 2017, the Combined Authority was invited to submit an application to Government for Innovation funding. The Department of Work and Pensions awarded us £6million to pilot a major new approach to support those most distant from the labour market, prepare them for, and help them to access, work. Our Cabinet agreed to provide £1.5m as match funding for this pilot, making a total of £7.5million.
The key elements of the pilot are to test out four innovative elements:
- Create multi-agency delivery approaches, led by each Local Authority
- Bring together existing services with innovative holistic support to move people through their journey towards and into work
- Provide ongoing “in-work support” for both the individual and the employer over the first 12 months of employment
- Provide flexible funding to support individuals and employer incentives where appropriate