Intermediate Labour Markets (IMS) aim to provide
a stepping stone into sustainable employment by combining paid
employment in temporary jobs (typically six months) with training,
personal development and job search activities. ILMs can also
contribute to job generation and often produce goods/services
of benefit to the local community.
There are a wide variety of local organisations
establishing and running ILMs, most of which are involved in regeneration
activities. These include voluntary and community organisations,
as well as New Deal for Communities (NDC). The use of ILMs is
common to most NDCs. They are commonly based upon community enterprises
to address local needs and have proved effective in securing sustainable
employment and contributing to wider regeneration objectives within
the NDC area.
These organisations access government funding
through a number of funding streams, including:
the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB),
administered by Regional Development Authorities (RDA), and now
the RDA Single Pots;
European Social Fund (ESF), administered
by Government Offices: and
the funding streams administered
by NDC partnerships.
New Deal for Young People Options and the New
Deal 25+ Intensive Activity Period offer work experience and education
and training for unemployed people. There are some parallels with
the ILM model, and some organisations running ILMs utilise this
synergy to provide placements funded partly through the New Deal,
and partly from other sources such as SRB. The New Deal is flexibly
structured to allow provision, including ILMs in areas where they
operate with New Deal support, to be carefully tailored to local
conditions. For example, individuals on New Deal for Young People
can opt to spend six months working for the Environment Task Force
on a project which may receive funding from SRB.
East Manchester NDC provides a useful case study
illustrating how this can operate on the ground. ILMs play a significant
role in East Manchester's drive to reintegrate previously unemployed
residents into the labour market. The NDC is also keen to use
ILMs to support broader regeneration programmes such as its environmental
programme. Their Community and Environmental Employment programme
is part of a merged voluntary and community option of New Deal
18-24 and provides 500 places across four Local Authorities with
approximately 70 places in East Manchester at any one time. It
has also recently been extended to incorporate New Deal 25+. The
programme consists of 12 months waged employment, with at least
three days work per week, and contributes towards vocational qualifications
and personal development (such as learning to drive or swim).
Sponsoring employers all undertake work that is of benefit to
the community and are accredited by Jobcentre Plus. The NDC have
also extended the Community and Environmental Employment programme
by going beyond the New Deal programmes and piloting a 15 place
scheme to engage the economically inactive. It also intends to
pilot a scheme for 16-17 year olds in September 2002.
To be successful ILMs need to be designed and
tailored to place participants into work as quickly as possible
they need to be locally led and supported by organisations with
understanding of the needs of local employers and the target group.
Close working relationships at ground level between employers,
Jobcentre Plus and ILM providers, and between those administering
the various funding streams, are essential. Much of central Government's
focus is therefore on providing and supporting the frameworks
necessary for ensuring effective, joined-up working at local and
Local and Regional level
RDAs co-ordinate economic development within
their region. In July 2001, in response to a more pro-active and
joined up approach to employment and skills the Regional Development
Agencies (RDAs) were asked to lead on the creation of Frameworks
for Regional Employment and Skills Action (FRESAs). The Department
for Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Education and Skills
(DfES), and Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) collaborated
with the Regional Development Agencies and a number of other key
players to publish guidance for the Frameworks for Regional Employment
and Skills Action (FRESAs) in January of this year. These aim
to provide an analysis of regional labour markets and action plans
to address labour market restructuring and redundancies, sector
skills shortages, promote inward and indigenous investment to
generate a healthy labour market. The key agencies and organisations
involved will include Jobcentre Plus, Learning and Skills Councils,
Local Authorities, Government Offices, TUC and CBI.
RDAs also administer SRB funding which was incorporated
into the RDA's new Single Programme from 1 April 2002. The SRB
provides resources for regeneration initiatives in England which
are developed and implemented by local partnerships.
Local Strategic Partnerships have been established
in the 88 local authority districts eligible for Neighbourhood
Renewal Funding. Their role is to bring together the key regeneration
partners at local level, including Jobcentre Plus, Government
Offices, and local business and residents, with a view to ensuring
that mainstream services and other initiatives are fully co-ordinated
with each other and that they are focused on the key issues facing
the district. RDAs have also made a commitment to be represented
on LSPs and have a tier two target to work with LSPs to reduce
deprivation. Government Offices support the development of LSPs,
and assess whether NRF grant conditions have been met and that
LSPs are effective and involve genuine community participation.
GOs also provide the main communication channels between LSPs
and central government.
LSPs were established as part of the Government's
National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. A comprehensive set
of cross-departmental working arrangements have been established
at national level to drive forward the strategy, and to ensure
that regional and local strategies and services are fully joined
up. These include:
A regular Permanent Secretaries working
group, which co-ordinates and provides strategic oversight of
the delivery of the national strategy;
A Performance Management and Local
Strategic Partnerships Group consists of senior Whitehall officials
to develop a performance management framework for delivery of
The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit (NRU)
itself works closely with other Whitehall departments to encourage
them to focus their mainstream services on deprived areas. The
main mechanism for this is through encouraging departments to
set floor targets, which commit them to raise the standard of
the worst performing areas. NRU works closely with DWP on resolving
any policy issues relating to the effective delivery of its services.
NRU also runs a Skills and Knowledge Programme to ensure that
those involved in neighbourhood renewalincluding those
delivering DWP's serviceshave the support, skills and knowledge
they need to regenerate neighbourhoods.
DTI are the sponsor department for RDAs, although
RDAs' deliver regional targets for a number of different departments.
There are, therefore, a number of cross-departmental working groups
established to oversee the functioning of the RDAs. These include:
The Central Policy Review Group (CPRG)
which is an inter-departmental group (consisting of representatives
from DTI, former DTLR, DEFRA, DCMS, and DfES) with a remit to
provide a value for money assessment on proposed RDA schemes worth
£5 million or over.
The Best Practice Group which is
an inter-departmental group (with representatives from DTI, former
DTLR, DfES and DEFRA) that provides a project appraisal function
on RDA projects through monitoring and evaluation.
DWP work closely with Departments responsible
for regeneration funding streams on the design of New Deals, in
order to ensure that the framework provided fits neatly with the
rules governing the various funding streams, and the availability
of ILMs on the ground. In doing this the DWP also works closely
with the employer-led National Employment Panel which provides
independent advice to Ministers in a number of Departments on
the design, delivery and performance of the UK Government's labour
market policies and programmes.
Departments responsible for competitiveness,
skills and employment policy work closely together, to ensure
that the strategic direction of these three policy areas align.
This collaboration is co-ordinated through a group of senior officials
from DTI, DfES, and DWP, reporting to a joint Ministerial group.
Finally, many ILMs are also classed as Social
Enterprises. The DTI has recently established a Social Enterprise
Unit with a remit to promote dynamic and sustainable social enterprise.
The SEU have worked closely with former DTLR, NRU and DWP as well
as the Home Office and Treasury on the development of their strategy,
and will be establishing an inter-departmental steering group
to oversee the development and implementation of the strategy.