Select Committee on Work and Pensions Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Government Office, South West (also on behalf of the Government Office, Yorkshire and The Humber) (ESF 20)


Wiltshire County Council:

  Wiltshire County Council (WCC) is targeting all their Co-financing resource to dealing with issues faced by disabled people. A summary of activities are as follows:

  1.  Provision of initial screening, assessment, advice and guidance to support disabled people with complex needs into services which can help them to towards basic employability.

  2.  Provision of basic, vocational and social and skills building to improve employability prospects for people in excluded groups, particularly young disabled people, disabled people who are financially inactive or who have been long-term unemployed, and carers.

  3.  Provision of advice, guidance, information and early intervention for young disabled people (16-25 years) in preparation for employment, including help to make choices about training and careers options.

  4.  Provision of programmes providing better links between education and employment for young disabled people including boosting capacity for intensive long term support towards and into employment and linking to Connexions service and community organisations.

  5.  Provision of advice, guidance, information and support for carers faced with difficulties in returning to or remaining in the workplace.

  6.  Provision of improved access for people with disabilities to a range of different support options including supported work experience, work trials and job tasters through to entry into the open labour market.

  7.  Provision of appropriate pre and post-employment support for disabled people including where appropriate, long-term support in the work place through job-coaching and mentoring.

  8.  Provision of improved support and information to employers, identify labour market needs, assist with recruitment of disadvantaged groups and encourage equal opportunities practices in recruitment and retention of disabled people and carers.

  9.  Identify, work with and support appropriate employers to ensure that work trials and job tasters are available to disabled people.

  10.  Establishment of job-matching service(s) including directory of employment-ready disabled people and participating employers seeking specific skills, linking with job-support provided by supported employment schemes and resources such the workablewiltshire website.

  11.  Delivering in co-operation with a group of large employers a scheme which provides work training and skill-building in a simulated work environment specific to those employers, leading to opportunities for interview and recruitment into the workforce.

  12.  Provision of leadership in each of Wiltshire's three PCT localities to support and foster consortiums or partnerships, build better links with employers and explore options for development of employment opportunities in the context of the local economy.

  13.  Capacity building through provision of support such as business expertise and advisory services to encourage the development of innovative employment initiatives including social enterprises, to provide employment for people with disabilities.

  14.  Provision to manage and improve information for disabled people, carers, employers and support services, building on and developing initiatives such as the website and new initiatives relating to young people.

  15.Development of outreach schemes and improve infrastructures and support to deal with transport and other problems, for disabled people living in rural localities towards employability and employment opportunities.

Swindon Borough Council:

  The Swindon Borough Council Plan (SBC) addresses identified needs of disabled people, and of the disadvantaged unemployed people living in wards of Swindon with the highest levels of deprivation.

  A summary of proposed activities is as follows:

    1.  Deliver additional activities for JIP WtW-overcome disadvantage in the labour market for people with disabilities.

    2.  Create an employment environment which allows people with disabilities to compete on a level playing field.

    3.  Add value to Neighbourhood Renewal initiatives for people with disabilities.

    4.  Providing pre-vocational advice, guidance and mentoring for beneficiaries with disabilities.

    5.  Providing pre vocational training and work experience for beneficiaries with disabilities.

    6.  Providing pre vocational support to address barriers to employment e.g. childcare and travel costs.

    7.  Support the development of co-operatives and other forms of social enterprise including self employment for women with disabilities.

    8.  Advice and support for employers in improving employment practices for people with disabilities.


Devon and Cornwall
South West
Lakes Trust
This project will offer a range of opportunities including soft skills development, access to basic skills and vocational countryside and water sports training tasters to seventy people in Devon who are traditionally excluded from or face barriers to learning.
Share This project aims to increase the total number of young people who received counselling in the target groups of deprived communities, ethnic minorities, homeless and unemployed and in outreach venues including rural access
GEAR project The project aims to target 50 learners and will provide access to and deliver basic skills education to homeless people, or those on the fringes of homelessness. This activity will take place in the new day centre premises in Southgate Street.
Community projects
This project aims to offer introduction course through the UK online centre in St Paul's. These courses will include an opportunity for people to experience the Internet, email, video conferencing and use of digital equipment. The target group for this project are primarily 16—25 year olds, and members of the local community who have not traditionally accessed any form of learning. The centre will offer additional opening hours of two evenings and Saturday morning.
Mediation Somerset To provide basic training in communication and conflict management to individuals who are unable to access education and/or employment opportunities because of negative past experiences with education/training, lack of confidence, limited interpersonal skills. The project is based in the Halcon Ward of Taunton Deane and the target group includes lone parents and women returners. To deliver training to residents in key communication skills resulting in successful learners achieving an Open College Network credit certificate in communication. `Soft' outcomes will include increased personal confidence and self-esteem
The Albemarle
To provide computer training and basic ICT skills to disadvantaged individuals who would not otherwise engage in learning. It is anticipated that 80% of beneficiaries will achieve the City & Guilds Profile of Achievement Award, 60% will achieve CLAIT, 5% will achieve CLAIT advanced and 5% will start NVQ level 1.
West of England
South Bristol
Community Construction
The project intends to provide locally based, hands on experience of furniture restoration (decorating, painting and finishes), developing business and job search skills in a friendly and practical way. Helping with basic key skills including IT language, confidence and team building exercises. There will be continued support following the completion of session into employment, further education or self-employment.
Wiltshire and Swindon
Stepping forward The target group are young people out of education suffering from substance (particularly drug) abuse. Stepping Forward is a community based organisation located in a poor part of Swindon where educational achievement is low
Wiltshire and Swindon
WREC Wiltshire has below average numbers of residents from ethnic minority backgrounds and makes it more important to provide experienced support services. The project works with individuals (advice and information) and employers (joint working) to improve HR practice
Wiltshire and Swindon
Tidworth D Trust Workforce Development can be about start up businesses and this project supports individuals in an area where there are not many local job opportunities outside the army.
Dorset and Poole
Dorset Community
To develop the capacity of partner organisations from the voluntary and community sector to help them address the basic skills needs of their users


  All of the SW LSCs run provider workshops. These events are open to all potential providers and part of their purpose is to advise applicants of what co-financing is, how it works and how they can engage with the process.

  GOSW held a Regional Publicity Event in February. 200 delegates attended, over 90% of these delegates were from non CFO organisations. Although this event covered all aspects of ESF, one of the keynote speakers was Julie Fionda (EU Commission) who gave an overview Co-financing. All nine approved CFOs received their Co-financing plaques at this event, and one of the four seminars was on Co-financing (this seminar was the most highly subscribed).

GOSW have also produced an ESF newsletter. One of the articles is on Co-financing and this will be a standing item within the newsletter. A copy of the newsletter is attached for information.


Co-financed projects supporting those with disability, or mental health problems

Name of Applicant OrganisationOrganisation Type Proposal NameProject Location Project Summary
Henshaws College Charity / Specialist residential
FE College
Lifelong Learning for AllHarrogate area The project supports unemployed people in the Harrogate area, with visual impairments, who are lacking in basic skills and delivers training and support in basic skills, confidence building, self-esteem, motivation and communication. ICT is an important element of the activities with the development of training programmes utilising appropriate basic skills software packages for use with those who are traditionally excluded from technology and visually impaired.
Ripon Community LinkCharity Ripon Supported Employment ProjectHarrogate District (Ripon) To prepare learning disabled adults for employment and valued occupation, to match them into employment and/or valued occupation opportunities, and to support and retain those placements/jobs to ensure they are successful. This will be delivered from a central base across Ripon and surrounding area.`
The Disabled People's Electronic Village Hall CharityIT4 WorkKirklees The Disabled People's Electronic Village Hall teaches disabled people from the Kirklees area of England to use computers for employment and information.
Leeds College of TechnologyFE College Enabling the Community 164West Yorkshire The activity will target people with disabilities who face exclusion in the labour market and aims to improve their abilities, social integration, confidence, qualifications, mobility and employability. College based learners will be actively involved with their communities and community learners will be supported through college, community and resource centers increasing their access to learning and and encouraging retention and achievement.
Mind the GapCharity Making TheatreWest Yorkshire Making theatre is a one year accredited vocational training programme in theatre skills, for 12 people with learning disabilities aged 18+. Enabling learners to access further training or employment in the arts and cultural industries.
ScopeCharityAccess Points West Yorkshire (Todmorden)To tackle the feelings of social isolation experienced by disabled people living in the Todmorden are by delivering a customized training programme, designed to improve personal skills, educational attainment, community participation and job potential.
St Anne's Shelter & Housing Action   St Anne's Training Partnership West YorkshireThis project will work with small, medium, independent voluntary and community based care organisations working within the fields of learning disabilities, mental health and homelessness. It will create an infrastructure which will enable staff to access high quality training and development opportunities and also achieve relevant vocational qualifications

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