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  1. ITV Report

Tees Valley Mayor launches £7.5m routes to work scheme

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The Tees Valley has secured £6 million of additional devolved funding from government to support up to 2,500 people into employment.

The funding is awarded to the six Combined Authority areas with elected Mayors, and the Tees Valley has secured one of the most ambitious and comprehensive programmes.

The Combined Authority put forward a strong proposal which was strongly endorsed by government through a competitive process.

Over the last four years, the unemployment rate in the Tees Valley has halved. Our economy is growing, and more people are in work providing for themselves and their families.

Things are getting better, but there remain stubborn barriers to work. This new investment from the government, secured because we have a Mayor, gives us a unique opportunity to address long-term unemployment.

Today I’m calling on local support services, voluntary organisations and local councils to work together to provide the best possible support to help people back to work."

– Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor

The pilot initiative will support people aged 30 and over facing the greatest difficulties in accessing jobs.

This includes people who have been out of work for a long period, those who face physical and mental health challenges, and those who have had a claim for Employment Support Allowance rejected.

The initiative aims to:

  • support up to 2,500 people over the three-year lifetime of the pilot
  • move at least 25% into employment
  • help the rest make significant progress towards securing work

As a pilot programme, the Combined Authority will carry out a full evaluation, to understand which services are most successful, and make the case for future local investment.