Buckinghamshire Thames Valley
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley will receive £1,200,000 of Building Better Opportunities Funding.
This LEP area incorporates both urban areas and rural areas with issues of isolation, as well as regions which have pockets of high Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities who can face additional barriers to work such as language issue and employer discrimination.
BTV has a comparatively low benefits-claimant count but it is estimated there are 17,000 residents in receipt of out of work benefit, over 10,000 of who are in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
This project will support people who have not had a job for a long time and who face multiple barriers in finding and keeping a job to enter into sustainable employment and change their life chances dramatically. It aligns with the LEP’s European Investment Strategy, which forms part of its Strategic Economic Plan. There is particular relevance to the strategy’s priority 4: ‘skills for the unemployed by promoting social inclusion amongst disadvantaged groups and providing employment support’. The project also directly supports the strategic objective of ‘Promoting Social Inclusion and Combating Poverty’ as a specified priority within the 2014-20 EU SIF programme. It will focus on the active inclusion of disadvantaged people who are furthest from the labour market in order to improve their employability.
The impact of a more intense and in depth approach should contribute significantly to breaking the cycle of deprivation in some of the most deprived wards in BTV.