Urban Echo News 

Bradford and Leeds secure £9.8m funding to tackle unemployment

Bradford Council, in partnership with Leeds City Council, has been awarded funding from the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) to help tackle unemployment in the district over the next three years.  

The funding from ESIF of more than £4.3m contributes to a total fund of £9.8m with the rest of the funding coming from Bradford Council, Leeds City Council, Incommunities, and Aspire-Igen. The fund will help the Council deliver the Skills Training Employment Pathways (STEP) project.

STEP is voluntary programme for people who are aged over 25 and facing barriers to employment. It will involve the delivery of a package of tailored support for long-term unemployed and disadvantaged people. The funding will help teams work with the individual to identify and overcome the barriers they face in getting work so they can find sustained employment.

In Bradford STEP will be delivered through SkillsHouse, the Employment Opportunities Fund and through a number of specialist services who support people:

·        who have a disability or who have mental ill-health

·        who are from black, Asian or minority ethnic background or who have English as a second language

·        with a drug or alcohol dependency

·        who are aged over 50

Of the funding, 72% will be used on projects within the Bradford District. The STEP programme aims to deliver the following by 2020:

·        over 5,000 individuals with job search and employability

·        over 1,500 individuals into employment

·        over 700 individuals will sustain employment at 6 months

If you live in Bradford District, are over 25 and unemployed, you can call 01274 257788 to find out more information and to book an appointment at the information and assessment centre.

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said:
“It’s great news for the district that our joint bid with Leeds City Council has been accepted. It means that we can implement the STEP programme to help long-term unemployed people in our District overcome the barriers they face so they find work.

“I want to acknowledge the support of Incommunities, Aspire-Igen, the Department for Work and Pension and Leeds City Council who have supported this bid. The success of this funding means we can continue to build on the success of our innovative Get Bradford Working initiative.”

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, skills and opportunity said:
“A range of work is being undertaken in Leeds and across the city region to provide people of all ages, and especially those who have been out of work for a long period, with the skills, support and confidence to find employment.

“I am delighted therefore that our joint bid to the ESIF with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been successful. This means that over the next three years, through the STEP project, we will be able to further tackle the barriers that are stopping long-term unemployed people aged over 25 securing a job.”

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