Up to 140 Salford residents with learning disabilities and autism will benefit from a new £721,000 programme to support them into long-term employment.
Salford City Council has received £490,000 for the new programme through the government’s Local Supported Employment initiative and topped it up with an extra £231,000 in matched funding.
Through the programme, each participant will receive up to a year’s direct support from a newly appointed team of job coaches to help them find work. They will also receive a further 12 months of support once they have secured employment which will be tailored to their individual needs and help them develop their careers. The programme will be fully operational from January 2023 with funding available up to March 2025.
The service will build on existing networks and partnerships in the city with dedicated work taking place with Salford and Greater Manchester employers to source appropriate employment opportunities and match these to the interests and skills of the participants.
Councillor John Merry CBE, Deputy City Mayor and lead member for adult services, health and wellbeing said: “This investment of £721,000 will allow us to better support Salford’s young adults with learning disabilities and autism into taking their first steps into the job market and to build a career of their own.
“We will work with the excellent providers across the city to deliver this programme that will make sure that they have access to the same employment opportunities as everyone else.”
Councillor Philip Cusack, executive support member for skills, work and business said: “This funding is vital in helping us achieve our aims to make Salford a fair and inclusive city where everyone has equal access to opportunities.
“Not only will this programme help break down the barriers that adults with learning disabilities and autism face in securing and maintaining a job but it is also a fine example of how we are putting our ‘Salford Way’ approach into practice.”
Salford City Council is one of 24 councils in England and Wales to share in a pot of £7.6 million from the initiative to be spent over the next three years.
The Salford Way is the council’s trailblazing initiative to deliver economic transformation and tackle inequalities through three leading interlocking strategies; the Tackling Poverty strategy, the Inclusive and Green Economy strategy and the Equality and Inclusion Strategy. A progress report on the initiative found that the approach was making sure that over 60,000 residents received targeted support from the council.