New funding will deliver employment support to vulnerable in Stirling

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New funding will deliver employment support to vulnerable in Stirling

Friday 6th October, 2017

Stirling Council, in partnership with local authorities in Falkirk and Clackmannanshire and Forth Valley NHS, has been awarded a contract to deliver employment support for some of the region’s most vulnerable people.

A bid, which covered the Forth Valley area, successfully won a contract to deliver employment support from April 2018 as part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Fair Start’ programme.

Stirling will be boosted by an investment of around £1.2m over the next three to five years to provide help for unemployed disabled people and people claiming reserved benefits who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The programme will provide individuals with personalised support for between 12-18 months pre-employment and a further 12 months of in-work assistance. Participants will engage on a voluntary basis which will support the person centred dimensions of the programme.

In Stirling, the programme will be co-ordinated and delivered by the Council’s Learning and Employability Team, who are part of the wider Economic Development and Regeneration Service.

The contract award will not only enhance the team’s existing employability support provision, but will also provide the opportunity for funded third sector involvement. Staff from local organisations will be able to collaborate with council officers in the design and delivery of bespoke employability support programmes that directly meet the needs of local people.

Increasing investment in employability is essential to the Council’s ambition of inclusive growth. Supporting residents farthest from the labour market to build their employability skills is critical to ensuring equitable growth that both strengthens the economy and reduces inequalities.

Working on a regional basis with our neighbouring local authorities, with NHS Forth Valley, and with third sector partners brings a real strength to the approach, widening the scope of learning, and the range of training and employment opportunities available to residents across the region.

Convener of the Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley, said, “This is fantastic news for Stirling which will provide significant benefits to some of our most vulnerable citizens. This investment will help us deliver high quality employment support to unemployed people, including those with complex issues who want to work and need help to enter or remain in the labour market.”

Vice-Convener, Councillor Alison Laurie, added, “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Falkirk Council, Clackmannanshire Council and Forth Valley NHS. This collaboration will enable us to align the Fair Start Scotland programme with the current delivery of Stirling Council’s employability and learning programmes, that will help deliver an even better service for our residents.”

Over the next few months, staff will be working with partners across the Forth Valley area to develop the programme for implementation from April 2018.

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