Training and skills pilot to offer one-stop shop of advice
Social landlords will offer housing advice to unemployed people as part of a government pilot being run by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
The Adult Advancement and Careers Service – a training and skills scheme – will initially operate in London and the west midlands, and will aim to combine childcare, finance and housing advice services under one roof to help residents into work.
Announcing the new centres in London today, the department’s secretary of state John Denham said: ‘Getting from a job with few prospects to a good job can be as tough as getting off benefit and into work. People who want to get on need support improving their skills and, often, sorting out childcare, tax credit, housing and other issues.’
One consortium shortlisted for the pilots includes Black Country Housing Group, Mercian Housing, Castle Vale Community Housing Association, Family Housing Association and Midland Heart.
The group has met regularly with the National Housing Federation to discuss problems of worklessness among tenants.
Emily Parkes, director of community regeneration at BCHG, said the scheme’s funding would enable the landlord to forge ahead with partnership work in tackling homelessness.
The pilots will test the new approach before potentially rolling out the service nationally by 2011.
A spokesperson for the DIUS said: ‘It’s important that ways of achieving this join up are tested now, to give us the best chance of building a sustainable national approach as part of the full service, which can be in operation from autumn 2010.’