Region leads way with multi-million-pound help for jobseekers

Published 1st August 2017 at 8:49am

The Sheffield City Region today welcomed news of its success in piloting an imaginative national move to help the unemployed.

The Region is to get up to £5million from the Department of Work and Pensions under a scheme which involves six areas of England. Thousands of disadvantaged people and those at risk of becoming long-term jobseekers across the region are set to receive a combination of specialist advice and support to get into work. It will start in January and run for five years.

Cllr Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Borough Council and Chair of the SCR Skills, Employment and Education board, said: “I am very pleased to see this pilot, which will help underpin the inclusive approach of the Sheffield City Region.

“We are in the vanguard of this work. As we see the numbers of our high value jobs growing we are ensuring that no one in our communities misses out on this growth.”

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership and Co-Chair of Skills, Employment and Education board, added: “This is a visionary exercise. Employers want the best people, and they are very keen to see help for those who face hurdles getting into work. This scheme will benefit the whole region.”


In the Sheffield City Region the scheme is expected to help support 3,000 people – including disabled people and older people. Employment and health specialists will work together to help vulnerable people facing multiple barriers to getting or keeping work.

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 led by the Sheffield City Region is a great step forward in our efforts to identify groups of people most at risk of long-term unemployment, and ways we can support them 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.”

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry added: “We’re boosting jobs and growth across the Northern Powerhouse, with Sheffield City Region set to benefit from up to £5million for a new employment scheme. This pilot will help people across Sheffield City Region to find high quality jobs and help the people most vulnerable in the jobs market.”

Examples of people who might benefit

The SCR scheme is designed to help people who are in the first year of claiming a benefit; who have multiple barriers; likely to be19-21 care leavers; people with learning difficulties; and people with multiple needs including mental health, physical health, homelessness/unstable accommodation, substance abuse, domestic violence, ex-offenders.


Our JobCentres do a great job but they aren’t resourced to help people with more complex issues that are making it difficult for them to find and keep a job. For example not having stable accommodation makes it hard to get work and hold down a job.  What the SCR can do is get all those providers around the table to coordinate support so it all fits together to help someone find work.

The type of support which will be available

It’s specialist employment support: to help people with complex lives we need to help them tackle multiple issues in a coordinated way with for example debt, housing, care, skills, employer engagement and support, advice services, money management, lifestyle and motivational coaching.  The employment specialists will work with ‘Local Integration Boards’ which are being set up across the whole SCR and which will bring together all of those services.  We will build on what’s already there and bring it together to maximise support.

  • These new pilots were agreed with six 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.



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