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Support for economically inactive adults

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Project Brief

UKSPF Interventions - E33: Support for economically inactive residents to access employment and training.


The proportion of the population in employment in Preston is lower than pre-pandemic levels, and there has been a significant rise in the levels of economic inactivity in the city.

Despite an abundance of job vacancies, a growing number of individuals are choosing to leave the labour market and not return. This may be due issues such as to long-term sickness, caring responsibilities, and early retirement.

This is negatively impacting on both individuals and employers. Employers struggle to fill vacancies and may struggle to keep their businesses/organisations running effectively.

Whilst individuals who are economically inactive may experience financial instability, this could have knock-on impacts to their physical and mental wellbeing.

Programme Outline

This programme aims to support individuals who are economically inactive and distant from the labour market to find work and remain in employment. Participants may include individuals who have experienced physical and mental health challenges, a form of exclusion, domestic violence, long-term unemployment, redundancy, and low skills/qualification attainment.

A range of entry routes should be available for participants to enter into the programme; this could include direct identification by delivery partners as well as referral from relevant local organisations such as charities, local authorities, the DWP and health and care providers.

The programme should provide participant-led support delivered through a mentor/key worker and individualised support plan.

The approach should be holistic to help the participant to overcome their barriers to employment, raise their aspirations, build self-confidence, engage in training/education, and improve their quality of life. Support and courses should cover a broad range of topics from general life skills to more employment specific training. This could include support with housing, mental and physical health, benefits, debt, cooking, job applications, English and Maths, among other topics.

The length and level of support offered should be personalised, alongside the learning style (this could cover peer support, group/class based, one to one, and specialised support).

The support could also be extended to cover an individual's initial period in employment to help the participant to remain in employment.

The project should take a partnership approach to delivery with at least 80% of the funding to be allocated to local voluntary and community sector organisations. It would be particularly beneficial if these partners are embedded in deprived wards of the city to ensure that those most in need of support are engaged.

It is expected that Preston City Council will work with the successful applicant to identify which local delivery partners should be in receipt of funding to deliver this project, adopting a fair and transparent procurement process.  This should help to provide sustainable impacts in the long term by building local capacity.


To provide intense and person-centred support for residents aged 25+ who are economically inactive (i.e. not actively seeking work) to address complex needs and barriers to accessing training or employment.

Financial Profile




Total Expenditure

Year 24/25





Number of economically inactive people engaging with key worker support services.


Number of economically inactive people supported to engage with the benefits system.


Number of socially excluded people accessing support.


Number of people supported to access basic skills courses.


Number of people supported to engage in job-searching.


Number of people receiving support to gain employment.


Number of effective engagements between key workers and additional services.


Number of people supported onto a course through provision of financial support.



Number of economically inactive individuals engaging with the benefits system following support.


Number of people reporting increased employability through development of interpersonal skills funded by UKSPF.


Number of people sustaining engagement with key worker support and additional services.


Number of people engaged in job-searching following support.


Number of people in employment, including self-employment, following support.


Number of people in education/training following support.


* The output and outcome figures shown are the minimum which Preston City Council expects the available funding to deliver.

Applicants applying for the full amount would be expected to meet these targets as a minimum. Where an applicant is applying for a share of the funding, we expect outputs and outcomes to be delivered in proportion to the share applied for.

Project Timeline

  • Date of launch for commissioning - 8 November 2023
  • Deadline for receipt of applications - 15 December 2023 at 17:00
  • Notification of whether applications have been successful - 8 January 2024
  • Issuing of grant agreements, commencement of projects - 1 April 2024
  • Project end - 31 March 2025

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