Employment has a major positive impact on an individual’s long-term health and wellbeing as well as that of their family members.  It can influence social mobility, economic independence, housing, and income levels.

Unemployment, however, can be both a cause of and a result of ill health.  The negative effects of unemployment on health and wellbeing can be linked to poverty and low income levels.  Long-term unemployment; limiting illnesses; low paid, short-term and temporary employment; and low level skills can affect an individual’s ability to gain and sustain employment.  The current economic climate presents particular obstacles to gaining employment for specific age groups (for example, 18-24 year olds and people aged over 50 years) and also for people who have recently been made redundant and may need to re-train to secure available employment opportunities.

This topic has strong links to the following JSNA topics:


Last updated: 2015-05-18 15:49:58
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1. What are the key issues?

Middlesbrough has a low skilled, low value economy.  Economic output (Gross Value Added) per head in Tees Valley was just 76.5% of the UK average in 2008, changing very little over the last few years.  Over 18,000 (21%) Middlesbrough residents aged 16-64 are in receipt of one or more key working age benefits.

There are high numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).  Just over 30% of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants are aged 18-24; 12.4% of the population in this age group is unemployed. Youth unemployment has more than doubled since January 2005.

Worklessness remains a major challenge throughout Tees Valley.  In March 2013 there were about 7,500 JSA claimants in Middlesbrough.  At 8.5% of the workforce, claimant count unemployment is at its highest since March 1998. Seven out of ten JSA claimants (71%) are male.

There is an incomplete picture of employer demand for future skills over the next decade.  Although further decline in employment in traditional manufacturing industries is likely, as the ageing workforce retires this will create strong demand for ‘replacement’ jobs in sectors including the process industries (where up to 3,300 replacement jobs may be required over the period to 2017) and metals (over 1,000 replacement jobs).  Jobs growth is forecast in retailing.

Employers in both the public and private sectors will need to play a vital role in providing more internship and apprenticeship opportunities for young people by increasing their investment in workforce skills and by creating sustainable employment opportunities.

The Local Enterprise Partnership for the Tees Valley, with a strong private sector mandate, has a key role in influencing and lobbying a wide range of both national and local stakeholders to help realise the aims of the Employment Learning and Skills Framework (ELSF), although it has limited capacity for delivery.


Last updated: 18/05/15

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?

Previous priorities identified by the Employment, Learning and Skills Framework (ELSF) and seen as key recommendations were:

Engage with private, public and voluntary sector employers to optimise opportunities
for job creation, work placement, volunteering, self-employment, sector route ways and other options, including those provided through ‘Get Britain Working’ initiatives from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) (for example, Work Clubs, Work Together, New Enterprise Allowance). This has been partially achieved/completed.

Work with Jobcentre Plus to develop appropriate referral mechanisms into the Work Programme
for those customers who would benefit but are not mandated to the programme. This has been partially achieved/completed.

Align resources to identify and sustain employment support
and fill gaps for those groups unlikely to benefit from the Work Programme and other mainstream initiatives (for example, ESF Support for Families) by using other opportunities such as the Innovation Fund and Regional Growth Fund. This has been partially achieved/completed.

Encourage employers to assist the existing workforce to stay in work
by supporting initiatives such as ‘Workplace Health’, Fit for Work, and the Tees Valley In Work Support Project. This has been partially achieved/completed.

Retain a strategic role in commissioning provision for people aged 14 -19 years
, ensuring young people are given the best possible opportunity to make the best career choices at the right time. This has been partially achieved/completed.

The ELSF has been replaced by the Tees Valley Skills Strategy 2014.  Headline statements are still relevant going forward.  Activity from the ELSF was delivered under Single Programme contracts and exceeded targets.

Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan details a range of commissioning priorities for the Tees Valley and a range of task and finish groups have been held with key partners to identify commissioning priorities for future funding which will be available for Tees Valley.

Support innovation and sector development
by securing the transformation of Tees Valley into a Low Carbon High Value economy and developing and nurturing an innovation culture and positive environment for business growth.

Develop the workforce by securing improved skills levels
to address future demand in growth sectors and in existing industries.

Develop and provide infrastructure
by securing additional capacity on the East Coast Mainline rail route and improving rail services to major northern cities and within the Tees Valley; and improving our air, road, port, land and property infrastructure to enable economic growth.

Attract and retain wealth
by developing the Tees Valley as a place to live in, work and visit.


Last updated: 18/05/15

3. Who is at risk and why?

Youth unemployment has more than doubled since January 2005 but has fallen from its recent peak of 13.6% in January 2010 and remains some way below its highest point of 20.5% in January 1995.

In England, people aged 18-24 years are nearly twice as likely to be claiming Job Seekers Allowance than the general population (6.6% and 3.6%, respectively) and three times more likely than those aged 50 to 64 years (Nomis, 2012).

Older people face a number of potential barriers to labour market participation including out of date skills and qualifications, discrimination by employers in relation to age and higher expectations of salary upon entering the labour market.

Men are more likely to be economically active than women (83.9% and 72.0% respectively).  Male unemployment is 7.9% in England, compared with 7.4% for females.  Men in full-time employment earn more than women in full-time employment (£533.30 and £433.00 per week, respectively) (Nomis, 2012).

Socioeconomic status
Two-fifths of all adults aged 45-64 on below average incomes have a limiting longstanding illness or disability, one-and-a-half times the rate for those on average incomes and three times the rate for those on high incomes (The Poverty Site, 2010).

There is strong evidence to suggest that ethnic minorities remain less well integrated into the regional labour market than their White British counterparts. Previous research suggests that different ethnic minority groups face a range of barriers in accessing the UK labour market.

Black African, Black Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi households are more likely to be workless than other ethnic groups (The Poverty Site, 2011).

Refugees face a number of distinct personal and structural barriers to economic participation including issues such as English language acquisition, lack of confidence and self-esteem, lack of UK work experience, references and proof of overseas qualifications.

In 2010/11, 6.3% of adults with learning disabilities were in employment in England (Learning Disabilities Observatory, 2012) compared with 71.8% of the population.

Disabled people are less likely to be employed (49%) than non-disabled people (78%).  Of those who are employed, about one-third of disabled people are in part-time employment compared with one-quarter of non-disabled people (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).

Low skilled adults
Having low or no skills is a major cause of unemployment and is widely acknowledged as one of the main barriers preventing unemployed people from returning to and remaining in the labour market.

Lone parents
Lone parents face issues such as finding childcare and childcare costs, domestic responsibilities, location of employment and emotional support.

Mental health
People with mental health problems have significantly lower employment rates than other working age groups.  Mental health problems can lead to significant disruption in people’s lives and those suffering from problems can experience issues in relation to confidence, self-esteem, concerns in relation to coping mechanisms and impact upon work.

About half of carers spending the most time (between 20-49 hours) caring per week were in employment in 2001.

Approximately one in five carers has to give up work, which affects pension contributions and increases the risk of poverty in later life.

Offenders often have problems which can affect employment prospects (for example, drug dependency, homelessness and employer discrimination).

Non-group specific
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population.

People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may need support from services, because impaired capacity for social interaction hampers their chances of employment and achieving independence.

Communities where worklessness has remained high over the last ten years now suffer further from the effects of the recession. The unemployment rate gap between those local authorities with the highest and lowest rates had narrowed over fifteen years.  There is now concern for those who are already long-term unemployed and who live in existing vulnerable economies where unemployment is expected to increase and available vacancies will further decline (Houghton et al, 2009).

The North East Regional Joint Health Review and Scrutiny Committee examined the health needs of the ex-servicemen and their families.  Roughly one person in twelve in the UK is a member of the ex-service community: either a veteran of the armed forces or a carer, dependant or close family member of a veteran.  The employment needs and associated health and wellbeing in relation to this group continues to be a high priority, and work will continue locally to complement that taking place regionally.


Last updated: 02/07/13

4. What is the level of need in the population?

There are 89,100 working age adults in Middlesbrough.  With 60,200 in employment, the overall worklessness rate remains high at 32%.  There are 17,100 adults claiming key out-of-work benefits, 19.2% of the working age population, compared with 14.2% in the North East and 10.6% nationally.

Middlesbrough has been affected by the 2008 credit crunch and subsequent recession which has seen an increase in the numbers of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA).  Claimant count rates in Middlesbrough increased from an average 4,200 in 2004 to 2008 to over 7,500 in 2012 and 2013.  The number is reduced to about 5,700 in 2014.  JSA claimant count rates in Middlesbrough tend to be twice the rate seen nationally (Nomis, 2014).

Claimant count trend, Middlesbrough, 2004 to 2014

Within Middlesbrough, six wards have claimant count rates below the England average.  There is a sixteen-fold difference in rates, from 0.8% in Nunthorpe to 13.1% in Gresham.  Four wards have more than one in ten of the working aged population claiming unemployment benefits: Gresham North Ormesby & Brambles Farm, Middlehaven, and Thorntree.

Unemployment map, Middlesbrough wards, Apr 2014

The Annual Population Survey estimates unemployment, as not all unemployed people are in receipt of JSA.  This estimates about 8,700 people to be unemployed in Middlesbrough in 2013, considerably more than the 5,700 JSA claimants identified.  As with JSA claimants, unemployment in Middlesbrough increased in the last five years, to a rate over 16%, compared with 8% in England, but has reduced in the most recent year (Nomis, 2014).

Unemployment (survey-based), trend, Middlesbrough, 2004 to 2013

The level of key benefit claimants in Middlesbrough is almost double the rate in Great Britain and higher than the North East.  Total claimant rates are higher than the North East and Great Britain.  Worklessness remains a major challenge in Middlesbrough and this was exacerbated by the recession.  The largest group of claimants are in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and incapacity benefits (IB).  Over 65% of ESA/IB claimants have been in receipt of those benefits for more than five years with 57% of claimants being male.  Rates of ESA/IB are above the GB average.

Working-age client group - key benefit claimants, Middlesbrough, February 2014




North East


Great Britain



Job seekers allowance (JSA)*





Employment support allowance (ESA) and incapacity benefit (IB)*





Lone parents*










Others on income-related benefits*















Total key out-of-work benefits





Total claimants





* = key out-of-work benefits

Total key out-of-work benefits may not add up as individuals may be in receipt of more than one benefit

Source: Nomis (2014)


Groups ‘at risk’ in Middlesbrough include:

Unemployed residents from deprived areas
Worklessness remains a major challenge in Middlesbrough.  Over 17,000 (19%) residents aged 16-64 are in receipt of one or more key working age benefits.  People living in areas of deprivation are more likely to experience unemployment with intergenerational unemployment compounding issues.  Families may also experience multiple barriers to employment, which require intervention by a range of agencies and services.

Benefit claimants
The Government has examined the complexity of the current benefits and Tax Credits systems (Department for Work and Pensions, 2010). In this system, many claimants have all, or almost all, of their earnings deducted from their benefits and there is a disconnection between out-of-work benefits and in-work support. As a result, many people feel trapped on benefits.

New proposals will introduce Universal Credit and improve financial work incentives by ensuring that support is reduced at a consistent and managed rate as people return to work and increase their working hours and earnings.  However, although the full impact of such proposals has yet to be revealed, there are concerns regarding the possibility that a number of individuals may be significantly impoverished.

Employment Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit claimants
The largest group of claimants (8,620) are in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and incapacity benefit (IB) although this has fallen from a peak in August 2003.

Groups unlikely to benefit from the Work Programme
Appropriate referral and support mechanisms are required to ensure that those customers who are not mandated, but would benefit from the Work Programme, can access support.  Resources should be aligned to identify and sustain employment support and fill gaps for those groups unlikely to benefit from the Work Programme and other mainstream initiatives using other opportunities.

Low skilled adults
Although adult skills attainment has improved in recent years, skills levels remain low in Middlesbrough.  About 13,700 (14.4%) of people aged 16-64 have no qualifications, compared to 9.3% for GB as a whole.  An above average proportion of Tees Valley residents have poor numeracy and literacy skills, 28% and 27% respectively (DFES Skills for Life Survey 2003).  In addition, 20% of adults in Tees Valley have only entry levels of literacy skills compared to 16% in England, and 67% in TV have only entry levels of numeracy skills compared to 47% in England.

Qualifications, Middlesbrough, January to December 2013



North East

Great Britain





NVQ4 and above





NVQ3 and above





NVQ2 and above





NVQ1 and above





Other qualifications





No qualifications






Numbers and % are for people aged 16-64

% is a proportion of resident population of area aged 16-64

No qualifications: No formal qualifications held

Other qualifications: includes foreign qualifications and some professional qualifications

NVQ 1 equivalent: e.g. fewer than 5 GCSEs at grades A-C, foundation GNVQ, NVQ 1, intermediate 1 national qualification (Scotland) or equivalent

NVQ 2 equivalent: e.g. 5 or more GCSEs at grades A-C, intermediate GNVQ, NVQ 2, intermediate 2 national qualification (Scotland) or equivalent

NVQ 3 equivalent: e.g. 2 or more A levels, advanced GNVQ, NVQ 3, 2 or more higher or advanced higher national qualifications (Scotland) or equivalent

NVQ 4 equivalent and above: e.g. HND, Degree and Higher Degree level qualifications or equivalent

Source: ONS annual population survey (NOMIS)


Having low or no skills is a major cause of unemployment and is widely acknowledged as one of the main barriers preventing unemployed people from returning to and remaining in the labour market.

Unemployed not yet eligible for benefits
On the wider measure of unemployment – including those not yet eligible for benefits – there were 34,700 unemployed in the Tees Valley in September 2013, representing 11% of the workforce and compared with an England average of 7.6%. This figure has almost doubled since September 2005 when it was 17,500.

Young people
Whilst attainment is improving rapidly across the Tees Valley at Key Stage 4, too many young people leave education without these skills and some post-16 vocational courses are of little labour market value.

Evidence suggests that in the future an increasing proportion of jobs will be in intermediate or higher skilled occupations.  People will require more flexible/transferable skills to reflect changes in the labour market.  There will be fewer lower skilled jobs – and some of the unskilled or less-skilled jobs lost in the recession may not return.

About one-quarter of all JSA claimants were aged 18-24; 8.4% of the population in this age cohort are unemployed. Youth unemployment more than doubled from 2005  to 2012, but has fallen from this peak in the past two years to be close to 2005 levels.

Youth unemployment (18-24), Middlesbrough, trend to 2014

Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET)
In January 2014, 510 young people (aged 16-18 years) in Middlesbrough were not in education, employment and training (NEET). This is 9.7% of this age group and is higher than the England average of 5.3% and the North East average of 7.6%. Hull (a similar area) has a rate of 5.7%.
Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), Middlesbrough, 2013

Across the Tees Valley, fewer than 2% of 16-18 year olds are ‘long-term’ NEET remaining completely outside of the system between their 16th and 18th birthdays. The majority of young people move in and out of the system; typically over 50% of the NEET group is actively seeking education, employment or training at any one time.

Middlesbrough has a higher proportion of part-time jobs compared to the North East and Great Britain.  There is a smaller than average proportion of jobs in manufacturing and a high proportion in services, particularly the ‘public admin, education and health’ sector.

Employee jobs by working pattern and industry sector, Middlesbrough, 2012



North East

Great Britain

Employee jobs




Total employee jobs















Employee jobs by industry





Primary Services (A-B: agriculture and mining)





Energy and Water (D-E)





Manufacturing (C)





Construction (F)





Services (G-S)





    Wholesale and retail, including motor trades (G)





    Transport storage (H)





    Accomodation and food services(I)





    Information and communication (J)





    Financial and other business services(K-N)





    Public admin, education and health (O-Q)





    Other Services (R-S)





Source: ONS annual business inquiry employee analysis / nomis


 % is a proportion of total employee jobs

 Employee jobs excludes self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces

 Data excludes farm-based agriculture


Job density is defined as the ratio of number of jobs in an area compared with the working age population. In Middlesbrough, there are about 66,000 jobs, giving a job density of 0.74 jobs per working age adult, compared with 0.78 in Great Britain (Nomis, 2014).

Middlesbrough has 13.6 JSA claimants for every Job Centre Plus notified vacancy, compared with 3.7 claimants per vacancy in Great Britain (Nomis, 2012). This data set is no longer being updated.

An analysis of labour market participation of individual ethnic minority groups across the region demonstrates that groups’ performance in LA areas are skewed disproportionately between the size of the ethnic group and economic activity of the area.  A sizeable gap is evident between certain ethnic minority groups and this problem seems to be exacerbated in areas with relatively higher concentration of ethnic minorities in the local population.  It can also be assumed that the lower economic activity rate of foreign-born working age individuals may be attributed to certain inherent disadvantages in the labour market, for example, language barriers for those whose first language is not English and /or holding non-UK educational qualifications and work experience.


Last updated: 18/05/15

5. What services are currently provided?

National Measures

Get Britain Working
National Government introduced welfare reforms in 2010 and introduced the Work Programme.  The Work Programme represents a step change for Welfare-to-Work, creating a structure that treats people as individuals and allows providers greater freedom to tailor the right support to the individual needs of each customer.  It has replaced previous programmes for unemployed people.

  • The Work Programme - helps individuals prepare for, find and stay in work. There are eight eligible customer groups and it is mandatory for people aged 18-24 years after receiving JSA for nine months.
  • Community Work Placements - aims to equip jobseekers with a valuable period of experience in a work-based environment, enabling them to develop the disciplines and skills associated with sustained employment, as well as to move them into employment.
  • Work Clubs - are for anyone who is unemployed and looking for work. They give people the opportunity to make the most of the local knowledge that's available, to support them in their search for a job.
  • Work Together - the opportunity to volunteer with a local voluntary organisation to help learn new skills and improve chances of finding work.
  • Work Trials – a voluntary opportunity which provides the chance to try out a job for up to 30 days.
  • Work Experience - gives anyone aged 18 to 24 years and receiving JSA the opportunity to take part in a work placement.
  • New Enterprise Allowance – provides help and financial support to set up a business for anyone in receipt of JSA for six months, Income Support (if a Lone Parent) or Employment Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group).
  • Enterprise Clubs - help to become self-employed or to start a business.
  • Sector-based Work Academies – offer training, work experience and a guaranteed interview for anyone aged over 18 and in receipt of JSA or Employment Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group).

Specialist disability employment support

  • Work Choice - is a programme to support disabled people with complex, disability-related barriers to help them find and stay in suitable employment. 
  • Access to work - can help if a person’s health or disability affects the way they do their job. It gives them and the employer advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of individual needs. It includes support for those who wish to move into self-employment.
  • Disability Employment Advisers - if people need extra employment support because of a disability, the local Jobcentre will put them in touch with one of their Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs).  DEAs can give help and support regardless of an individual’s situation. They can help people find work, or they can help them to gain new skills even if they have been out of work for a long time or have no work experience.

Drug or alcohol support - This voluntary service is for people who have a dependency on drugs or alcohol that affects them finding or keeping work.  It can also help people who have a problem with both drugs and alcohol.

Education Funding Agency (EFA) - The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a scheme intended to help the most vulnerable 16-19 year olds in full-time education.

SFA Apprentice Grant for Employers (AGE) - The AGE 16 to 24 Grant for Employers aims to support businesses, who would not otherwise be in a position to do so, to recruit individuals aged 16 to 24 into employment though the Apprenticeship programme.

DFE Youth Contract - The purpose of the Youth Contract programme for 16- and 17-year-olds is to engage young people who are hardest to reach and support them into education, training or a job with training.

DWP Families with Multiple Problems (FamilyWise) - supports disadvantaged families, facing multiple barriers to work, to move closer towards and into sustainable employment.

DCLG Troubled Families - the programme is targeted on families identified through a set of national criteria which include juvenile offending, involvement of any family member in Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), exclusion from school or unauthorised absence levels of 15% or more, and receipt of a range of worklessness benefits.

National Careers Service - provides information, advice and guidance to help individuals make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers confidential and impartial advice supported by qualified careers advisers.


Tees Valley Measures


Tees Valley Jobs and Skills Investment Scheme - offers businesses a 12 month wage subsidy of up to 50% towards the cost of a new trainee, apprentice or graduate of any age.  There is no limit to the number of people that a company can employ, providing the posts are additional and can be sustained for a minimum of two years.

Tees Valley Workforce Skills – provides a range of training and support to up-skill employees within businesses employing less than 250 people.

YES Project - a Tees Valley wide initiative being delivered by Youth Directions for Stockton which works with NEET young people to support them into Education, Employment or Training.

Graduates for Business - an initiative from Teesside University aimed at helping graduates to get their foot on the first rung of the career ladder by assisting them in finding employment with SME’s based in the North East.  Graduates can be placed on a register to be offered vacancies as and when they arise.  Businesses can access up to £11,000 as salary support to employ a graduate, and the University provides a free recruitment service.


Local initiatives in Middlesbrough

Network of Intermediaries
Created in 2001, the network of partner members includes organisations in Middlesbrough that help to connect people with jobs, offer training to develop their skills and deliver information, advice, support and guidance.  Currently over 100 members promote a wide range of services and provision for Middlesbrough residents. www.middlesbrough-noi.com

Middlesbrough Youth Employment Group has recently been developed with the aim of strategically addressing the issues of youth employment working together with key partners across the town.  The Youth Employment Group is a strategic sub group of the Health and Wellbeing Board – Aim 1 Wellbeing in Middlesbrough Partnership and will oversee the approach to youth employment in Middlesbrough.   The group will work closely with Tees Valley Unlimited to ensure it aligns its work to that of the Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan and its priorities.

Last updated: 18/05/15

6. What is the projected level of need?

Due to the broader travel-to-work area a Tees Valley perspective is provided to project the level of need.  Middlesbrough has 21% of the Tees Valley population.

The Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan (Tees Valley Unlimited, 2014) sets out the economic vision for Tees Valley for the next 10 years.  It forecasts the following level of need.

Tees Valley currently has 281,000 jobs and a working age population of 421,000.  To bring employment levels up to the national rate, an additional 28,000 jobs are needed.  Tees Valley Unlimited’s (TVU’s) target is to create 25,000 new jobs in the Tees Valley over the next decade, a 10% increase on 2014.  These will bring over £1 billion of gross value added (GVA) benefits, closing the gap between Tees Valley and national employment rates and matching the private sector employment rates in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

These 25,000 new jobs will be achieved in the following sectors, noting the forecast reduction in ‘other manufacturing’:

Net Job Creation, Tees Valley, 2015-2025




Low Carbon



Advanced Manufacturing



Other Manufacturing






Tourism and retail



Finance and Business Services (ex digital)






Telecoms and Digital



Higher Education



Health (Care)



Other services






Source: Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan, Tees Valley Unlimited (2014)

Demographic changes are also an issue.  It is predicted that the number of people over the age of 65 will rise over the next ten years, along with an increase in those aged 55 to 64 (prevalent in process and advanced manufacturing jobs) and a fall in the number of young people entering the labour market. Those aged over 55 are likely to leave the workforce during the next ten years, taking their skills and experience with them. The replacement demand in Tees Valley between 2010 and 2020 could be as high as 120,000 people across all occupations. At the same time, the number of people aged 15-24 will decline, with new entrants to the workforce over the same period diminishing. The number of school leavers (aged 15-16) in Tees Valley will shrink over the coming years; by 2017 there will be 900 fewer students in this group than in 2013. The combined effect will produce a shift in the profile of the workforce over the next ten years and measures need to be put in place now to reduce the impact upon the local economy.


Last updated: 18/05/15

7. What needs might be unmet?

There is a need to ensure that training or employment opportunities offered to young people (18-24) reflects the local labour market and acts as a starting point for a career rather than a short-term fix. It should offer young people the key skills and learning they will need to lead to sustainable employment with opportunities for progression.

Although the Fit for Work process is likely to lead to the reassessment of thousands of ESA or IB claimants across the North East, the Work Programme is likely to provide support for a comparatively limited volume of ESA/IB claimants.

The Work Programme has been designed to focus on long-term JSA claimants (18-24 year olds who have been on JSA for more than 9 months those aged 25+ in receipt of JSA for more than 12 months). A much lower volume of EB/ISA claimants are expected to be mandated onto the programme.

The loss of key funding programmes (e.g. Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Future Jobs Fund, Single Programme) will have a significant impact on the ability to plug gaps in provision for those groups that may not be prioritised for Work Programme support.


Last updated: 18/05/15

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

Young People (up to 25)

Hidden Talents 2: Re-engaging young people, the local offer (Local Government Association, 2013) contains examples of good practice and successful projects. The LGA used evidence from successful projects to make proposals suggesting a whole-system approach based on a new level of collaboration between local and national services and a more fitting distribution of responsibilities.  The model ultimately seeks:

  • to integrate and sequence re-engagement services for the most disengaged young people up to 24, by making local partnerships default commissioners of re-engagement support;
  • to reconnect provision to employer demand in local labour markets, by flexing skills and employment services around occupational and sector funding priorities jointly set by local partners with government;
  • for local services for hardest-to-reach young people with national welfare to work services and programmes to unlock value by co-designing support packages for this group.

Some of the examples are dependent upon responsibilities moving from National to Local Government but substantial elements of the good practice could still be implemented without that change.

The following are examples of good practice in the Hidden Talents Document:

Wakefield – early identification and targeted joint working

Wakefield Council is taking a holistic view to transitioning young people through primary school, secondary schools and into post-16 education.  In one year the number of school leavers becoming disengaged dropped from 6% to 5.5%. Over the same period applications for post-16 learning via the Wakefield online prospectus increased by 22%, up to 86% by March 2012.

The authority has developed detailed data analysis to understand the current cohort and map provision, identifying young people at risk and tracking them through school, and developing information-sharing tools to inform pre and post-16 provision – a smart phone application was developed to inform young people of the opportunities ahead.

A Targeted Youth Service works with Connexions and the local third sector to provide bespoke programmes for most at risk groups – it includes the Back on Track project giving young people hands on employment experience to complement formal learning. Since 2010 it has, for instance, increased the number of young offenders re-engaging following a court order increased from 58% to 80% in 2012.

Hartlepool – bespoke employability programmes

Hartlepool’s Going Forward Together programme was the centre piece of its strategy to engage high risk young people. The programme supported over 600 of the most disengaged 14-19 year olds, with 75% progressing into education, employment and training. Despite the recession, the local authority reduced the number of disengaged young people from 9% at the end of 2007, to 7.4% in 2011, and plans to reduce to 6.7% by 2012/13.

The programme was targeted at young people identified by schools or Connexions who required additional support, such as young offenders, care leavers, or young people from disengagement ‘hotspots’.  The local authority, Connexions, schools, and training providers collectively designed bespoke engagement programmes. All provision was routed through a single referral point in the Council’s Integrated Youth Support Service, which conducted eligibility checks and offered targeted careers advice and guidance, before a referral to a named mentor that could draw on a range of wrap around services from a number of providers.

As part of the personalised intervention, subcontractors from the public, private and third sector offered varied and unique pre-employability programmes focused on helping young people remain economically active post 16 - including everything from Foundation Learning to Jobcentre Plus provision.

Since February 2011, 182 young people had been registered onto the programme; with 97% retention rate and 99% achievement rate, with 65% of participants progressing into work or learning.

Gateshead – simplified offer to employers
The Gateshead Apprenticeship Plan commits to increasing the number of apprenticeships by 600 before 2014, and increase the number of apprenticeships for 14-16 year olds to 260. Gateshead Strategic Partnership is working with the National Apprenticeship Service, Connexions, and the Gateshead Collective, a network of eight work-based learning providers, to deliver the plan’s priorities.

The single offer co-ordinates information relating to apprenticeships across the Borough, and provides a central resource with a common message for employers, and reduces the number of approaches from providers. The plan targets seven priority growth sectors for Gateshead, including science, digital and creative, and retail and tourism.

Within the model, the local authority plays a commissioning role shaping provision around local economic priorities, acting as a corporate parent for young apprentices from care. Ten partnership groups will help deliver the plan across Gateshead, with the National Apprenticeship Service acting as the delivery body.

Newcastle – Apprenticeship Plus
Newcastle City Council is leading the way on apprenticeships, for instance as an employer it has over 120 apprentices. Newcastle has also developed an Apprenticeship Plus service, which offers employers that want to recruit an apprentice an holistic, rounded service – including assistance with recruitment, arranging the delivering of training, and a salary subsidy programme for apprentices which complements NAS’s Apprenticeship Grant for Employers. The city is to build on this as part of its city deal, developing an apprenticeship hub. Furthermore, young people are assisted in interview preparation and those that apply but are not successful have the option of additional support to help fill any skills gaps. As a result, more than 50 apprenticeship opportunities have been created for young people from Newcastle’s more disadvantaged areas.


Further examples of good practice from Tees Valley include:

Youth Employment Initiative - Stockton
Following the success of the Future Jobs Fund in Stockton it was decided to develop this initiative to provide 165 employment opportunities for young people aged 16-24.

  • Opportunities were for at least 12 months, providing work for 35 hours or more per week and were paid at least at the national minimum wage;
  • All jobs were suitable for long term unemployed young people between 16 and 24,
  • Jobs were additional – i.e. they would not exist without this funding;
  • Opportunities had to be part of an apprenticeship framework;
  • The work undertaken directly benefitted local communities;
  • Organisations received 39 weeks subsidy for wages.

Foundation for Jobs – Darlington
Launched in early 2012 the Foundation for Jobs (FFJ) project had four key elements: promote vocational opportunities (both training and employment); increase the number of apprenticeships; build links between schools and business (and address perceptions of apprenticeships and industries in general); develop internships and entrepreneurial skills.

A full time project co-ordinator ensured that activities across all four strands were delivered and in the first year of the project 123 apprenticeships were created, over 1,100 young people attended practical/interactive themed sessions; 124 Internships were taken up and 66 young people received advice on starting their own business. The impact both in terms of actual numbers but also in terms of changing attitudes is evident amongst those working with young people in Darlington and all other Tees Valley Local Authorities are looking at FFJ as a template for their activities.

It is clear from the project’s first annual report (July 2013) that the project is performing well and exceeding the targets. The report states “Foundation for Jobs has taken a different approach to addressing youth unemployment; tackling attitudes and perceptions at a grassroots level.” It continues: “The first year of the programme has produced a blueprint for investment both in Darlington and further afield.”


Talent Match – Middlesbrough
Talent Match is targeting young people who are furthest from the jobs market, including those who are completely outside of the benefits, work and training system and facing severe barriers to gaining the skills they need to get into work. Talent Match boosts opportunities for young people in selected areas by bringing together partnerships of employers, education providers and others, led by local charities.

In Middlesbrough the Prince's Trust was granted more than £1.4 million from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver Talent Match.  Focusing on the areas of Gresham, University, Middlehaven, North Ormesby & Brambles Farm, Thorntree, Pallister, Park End and Beechwood Talent Match identifies, engages, inspires and supports eligible young people from the most deprived areas in Middlesbrough to enable them to move into sustained employment or enterprise by matching them with a dedicated mentor who helps boost their confidence and skills, and supports them back into the workplace.

Over the five year project 500 young people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more will increase in confidence, motivation and self-esteem; at least 100 young people will be supported into sustained employment or self-employment, lasting for a minimum of 6 months.


Last updated: 18/05/15

9. What do people say?

There is no evidence available at present to represent the views of local people.  Feedback from individual projects funded through WNF may be available if required.

Evidence can be gathered through consultations with the community if this is required for specific areas of research and to inform future service delivery and provision.


Last updated: 18/05/15

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

No further needs assessment is required at this stage.  There is a strong evidence base for effective intervention.  Some identified needs are unmet and Tees Valley LEP has identified an Employment, Learning and Skills Framework to address such gaps in provision and increasing partnership working to achieve objectives.



Last updated: 18/05/15

Key Contact

Name: Richard Horniman

Job Title: Assistant Director, Supporting Communities

e-mail: richard_horniman@middlesbrough.gov.uk

phone: 01642 729568


Local strategies and plans

Middlesbrough Borough Council (2012). Middlesbrough 2020 vision.

Middlesbrough Partnership (2008). Middlesbrough Sustainable Community Strategy 2008-2023.

Tees Valley Unlimited (2011). Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership’s Statement of Ambition 2011.

Tees Valley Unlimited (2011). Tees Valley Unlimited Partnership Business Plan.

Tees Valley Unlimited (2009). Tees Valley Economic Assessment.

Tees Valley Unlimited (2014).  Tees Valley Skills Strategy


National strategies and plans

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2009), The Houghton Review: Tackling worklessness – a review of the contribution and role of English local authorities and partnerships.

Marmot, M et al (2010), The Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives. Strategic review of health inequalities in England post-2010.


Other references

ACEVO (2012). Youth unemployment: the crisis we cannot afford

Denis Hall Associates (2013). Tees Valley Skills Action Plan Review: A Final report to Tees Valley Unlimited.

Department for Works and Pensions (DWP, 2010). 21st Century Welfare

Department for Works and Pensions (DWP, 2012). Qualitative Study of offender employment review: final report.

Foundation for Jobs Annual Review 2012/13 Evaluation report no. 2

Houghton, S; Dove, C; and Wahhab, I (2009). Tackling Worklessness: A Review of the contribution and role of English local authorities and partnerships.

Joint Health Overview of Scrutiny Committee of North East Local Authorities (2011). Regional Review of the Health Needs of the Ex-Service Community.

Learning Disabilities Observatory (2012). Learning Disability Profiles 2012

Ministry of Defence (2008). The Nation’s Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans.

Nomis (2012).  Labour market profile for England, September to November 2012.

Nomis (2014). Labour Market Profile - Middlesbrough

Office for Disability Issues (2012). Disability Equality Indicators.

Murrison, A (2010). Fighting Fit: a mental health plan for servicemen and veterans

The Poverty Site (2010). Longstanding illness/disability.

The Poverty Site (2011). Work and ethnicity.