Chichester councillors agree to back '˜most important' ChooseWork Project

Leader Tony Dignum has pleaded with other organisations to follow Chichester District Council in pledging funds to a scheme which helps people find work.

Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 8:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:33 am

His appeal came as cabinet members recommended continuing to back the ChooseWork Project to the tune of £25,000 a year.

With previous Government funding no longer guaranteed, cllr Dignum said on Tuesday: “Work brings dignity and it’s our job to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get a start in their career.

“We do hope that other organisations would follow our lead and put some money into it.”

The Choosework Project, which has run since 2013, was hailed as a big success by cabinet members at Tuesday’s meeting.

Stephen Oates, the council’s economic development manager, said: “The ChooseWork scheme has been running for nearly four years and it really is a success story.

“It has seen 187 work placements, helping 94 people back into work, nearly 700 clients engage with the project in some way, and very importantly has also had a positive impact on the business community.

“It’s unfortunate the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have changed their approach so we want the cabinet to continue to support it.”

Both cllr Dignum and cllr Gillian Keegan, cabinet member for commercial services, agreed it was a ‘most important service’, and without the councils’ £25,000 a year backing would be unable to continue.

Cllr Dignum said that around 2,500 people in the Chichester district were on Employment Support Allowance, with another 500 on Job Seeker’s Allowance, adding that ‘we want to help as many of those into work as possible’.

Cabinet members approved recommendations to continue to fund the project with £25,000 per anum for the next three years.

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