The Government has announced £3.9m million in funding to help improve the skills and opportunities of up to 3,000 adults in the area.

Local MP Chris Skidmore has welcomed the funding from the Department of Work and Pensions which will fund a two-and-a-half-year Innovation Pilot starting in January 2018 and aims to explore new ways of helping vulnerable and long-term unemployed people to find and progress in work.

The Government has committed £28 million to 6 pilots around the country – in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Liverpool City Region, Sheffield City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands as well as the West of England – with each region adapting its pilot to address the individual circumstances of that area.

This scheme will be managed by the West of England Combined Authority who will use the knowledge of housing associations and social landlords to identify residents who would benefit most. The new system will support people in low paid jobs to achieve in-work progression through tailored interventions and will operate a Key Worker model to support the individual, through actions such as diagnostic assessment, action planning, training, and support to move jobs.

Chris said:

“I am extremely pleased with this announcement by the Government and the West of England Combined Authority to fund the support of around 3,000 people in the region by improving their skills and opportunities.

As the local MP, I have always campaigned to secure the maximum possible investment in our area for local residents. Since becoming the MP in 2010 we have increased investment in our schools for our children and have cut the unemployment rate in half. This announcement shows the support the Government is giving to our region and I will continue to fight to secure the jobs and investment that our area deserves."