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New powers to help thousands back in to work

31/01/2017

Greater Manchester is to gain a raft of new devolved powers to help thousands more people get into work.

The city-region will receive around £28m to develop, procure and deliver localised versions of the new Work and Health Programme to fit the needs of residents. This will build on the Greater Manchester’s successful Working Well programme.

Working Well was developed to help tackle an historic legacy of unemployment and underemployment in Greater Manchester. The programme initially targeted people who had left the work programme without finding employment and ensured they received integrated and intensive support. It has proved to be around twice as effective at supporting people back in to work when compared to National schemes.

With these new devolved powers, participants – including disabled, homeless people and the long-term unemployed – will receive more intense, tailored support based on local expertise that will give them the best chance to move into long-term employment. 

Cllr Sean Anstee, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Lead Member for Skills and Employment said:  

“In Greater Manchester we know that when we create local solutions to help people back in to work they are much more effective.  Through intensive, tailored support from local key workers our Working Well programme has helped people right across our city-region get back in to the workplace. 

“These new devolved powers will help us expand Working Well and make a real difference to people’s lives.  More people will now get the support they need to find a job and be successful in Greater Manchester.”   

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said:

“This is a significant step to help thousands of disabled and vulnerable people in Greater Manchester get the support they need to move away from benefits and find lasting work. 

“Good work has huge benefits for physical and mental health and we are committed to helping all those people who can work to find work.

“By devolving powers we are sending a clear message that we are serious about investing in the Northern powerhouse, and believe that the people of Manchester are better supported by local providers who know their own city best.”

Devolution has been central to the Working Well programme and Greater Manchester’s approach to skills and employment. By working across agencies in Greater Manchester and together with the Department for Work and Pensions, GM is proving that locally designed solutions can make a difference to the lives of people in our city-region.