West Midlands regional worklessness network
Educe facilitated a range of learning and networking activities on worklessness in the West Midlands, funded by DWP and CLG through Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM). The programme ran between September 2009 and October 2010, and sought to:
- review learning and organisational development needs in tackling worklessness and impact
- assist partnerships and practitioners developing the Future Jobs Fund, Work and Skills Plans and City Region planning on employment and skills
- promote customer-focused innovation
- help strengthen evaluation evidence and the transfer of effective practice
- organising a regional conference, ‘Tackling Worklessness in an Age of Austerity’ (July 2010) to establish what ‘Total Place’ (TP) means in tackling worklessness, what can be learnt from the TP pilots and relevant experience in the region (featuring Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire), and what actions are needed to drive greater impact and efficiency
- providing advisory support for the City Region MAA Employment and Skills Plan on the evidence base, data sharing, planning, commissioning, and engagement of ‘wraparound services’ (especially health and housing) alongside mainstream employment and skills delivery
- facilitating a regional Future Jobs Fund (FJF) network bringing together local authorities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises with contracts to deliver FJF in the region.
Derrick Johnstone also ran a series of four workshops to support the preparation of Local Economic Assessments in the region, on themes of Worklessness; Sustainable Economic Prosperity; and Forecasts and Scenarios. These were promoted by West Midlands Leaders Board, REDOG (the Regional Economic Development Officers Group) and IEWM.Other elements of the worklessness network programme included:
- Good Practice Review: pilot project being undertaken by RegenWM to work with practitioners to gather evidence of good practice in removing barriers to employment and increasing outcomes for particular groups, and how best to spread and embed ‘what works’.
- Cannock Chase ‘demonstration project’ which has brought local partners together to use customer insight techniques to improve multi-agency service delivery.
- evaluating-cost-effectiveness-of-worklessness-interventions: literature review and guidance prepared by West Midlands Regional Observatory
The programme was shaped by a regional steering group and linked in to the West Midlands Economic Inclusion Panel.
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