Our Strategic Economic Plan makes an important commitment to an innovative approach to Social Economic Inclusion. A third sector-led Consortium comprising the Worcestershire voluntary and community sector (VCS), businesses and pubic sector interests is pioneering a new way forwards which will meet business and individual needs. The Consortium and WLEP are working collaboratively with Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Big Lottery Fund (BLF) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA)who are united behind Worcestershire’s innovative approach.
The Consortium will enable organisations, through the Worcestershire LEP, to access a combined investment of £11.7m during 2014-2020 from the European Social Fund, matched by BLF, DWP, SFA, public organisations and businesses. The Consortium will provide coordinated and personalised packages of support to help working age people who are ‘trapped’ in a cycle of unemployment or low paid temporary jobs or generally excluded from economic opportunity. The aim is to ensure all people both contribute to and benefit from the growth in the Worcestershire Economy and follow consistent steps on a journey from economic and social isolation into skills training, employment or enterprise. All third sector, business and local-to-national public organisations will be able to collaborate and align their front-line delivery to meet individual needs more effectively. At the same time, this unified vehicle will help Worcestershire LEP to manage future social economic inclusion programme and project bids from organisations and ensure that funding opportunities are maximised. A Shadow Board has now been established under the leadership of Simon Murphy, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Worcester Community Trust. Over the next few months, the Shadow Board will be shaping plans for investment of the European Social Funds and will be holding workshops during the Autumn 2014 with its wider community of interests. To read the latest news bulletins from the Consortium, see below: Issue 1: July 2014 Issue 2: September 2014
The Big Lottery Fund has recently published a programme guide on how the Building Better Opportunities Programme will operate when it opens for funding this summer and a Guide to delivering European Funding.
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