New scheme to support unemployed, low-skilled and low-paid in Northumberland

A new fund to support the unemployed, low-skilled and low-paid has been set up as part of the North of Tyne ambition for an inclusive economy.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:11 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th October 2019, 4:53 pm
Picture c/o Pixabay

The combined authority’s cabinet approved the Inclusive Economy Innovation Fund (IEIF), to focus on commissioned activity targeted at into-work support, career pathways and in-work progression.

The cabinet report stated: ‘Inclusion is about removing the barriers which make it difficult for people to take up employment and training opportunities, with a focus on the groups that are less likely to directly benefit from economic growth.

‘It is also about ensuring that job opportunities provide access to good work, with security, skills, progression, opportunities, a decent standard of living, and promoting health and wellbeing.’

It was agreed that the IEIF should prioritise investment on those residents who need it most, with the main focus to be residents who are out of employment; in-work, low-earning individuals; individuals with low skills; and young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Setting out the proposals, Coun Joyce McCarty, the cabinet member for employability and inclusion as well as Newcastle City Council’s deputy leader, said: “Some of this will be about targeting this fund on those who need it most, but it will also be an opportunity to work with partners.”

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “I’m really proud to be a member of this authority and the work we are doing.

“Those priorities are exactly the kind of things that are needed to make a difference to those who are furthest behind.”

Coun Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, added: “This is key to our collective drive to tackle the low-wage economy that’s a particular problem in our part of the country.”

Northumberland’s deputy leader, Coun Wayne Daley, described the fund as ‘impactful’ and thanked Coun McCarty and the staff for their work.

“What is very clear is that the fund having a small input will have a significant impact,” he said.

At the meeting, the cabinet also agreed the next steps in the process which will see the the adult education budget devolved to the combined authority.