A series of heart-warming new films has revealed how a programme supporting long-term unemployed people commissioned by Mayor Steve Rotheram is giving Liverpool City Region residents much more than just work opportunities.
Seven people have spoken candidly about the emotional turmoil of finding themselves unemployed – and how the ground-breaking Households into Work scheme has put their lives back on track.
Delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Households into Work was launched in 2018 as a pilot project to support long-term unemployed people who, because of their circumstances, have difficulty finding and sustaining employment.
Over the course of 12 months, the participant works on a 1-2-1 basis with a dedicated Employment Advocate who helps them to the point where employment is a realistic and attainable goal.
Health issues, redundancy, parenthood and settling here after seeking asylum are among the reasons for the group being out of work.
Despite the pandemic, since October 2020 more than a thousand people from across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral have been supported, with nearly a quarter of those moving either into education and training or into work.
During this time frame, clients have also undertaken more than 380 skills development courses such as confidence building and managing finances.
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:
“There can be many reasons why people might find themselves out of work for periods of time, but we’re here to help them and offer the support they need to get back on track.
“Our people will always be the bedrock of the region’s fortunes – ultimately, our success depends on them. Yet for too long, too many people in our region have been held back – not by of a lack of talent, but a lack of opportunity.
“Households into Work is a pioneering programme that simply would not exist without devolution. In stark contrasts to the government’s sanctions first approach, it has so far given thousands of local residents the support, skills and confidence they need to get back into work and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.”
Portfolio Holder for Education, Skills, Equality and Diversity Mayor Joanne Anderson said:
“It’s clear the Households into Work programme is having a massively positive affect on individuals across the city region. It shows how working collaboratively with a joined up approach to support people achieves so much more in helping people move on with their lives.”
Households into Work has a team of 32 based in each of the six Liverpool City Region local authority areas. They work on an outreach basis with long-term unemployed people who are dealing with a range of issues, including financial crises, mental health problems, the risk of eviction or homelessness, domestic abuse, social isolation or chronic health issues.
Kirsty from Widnes was involved in one of the films. She said:
“I hope these films encourage everyone to get involved in Households into Work. I’ve had support in the past, but this support is everything in one whether that’s counselling or courses, so I was keen to get involved.
“I hope that by sharing our stories, it will mean other people will access the same support and see the same benefits as I have.”