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New ideas to boost employment and skills across Adur and Worthing

Released: Monday, 05 November 2018

Innovative ways of connecting unemployed people to local employers will be the focus of a new trailblazing project led by Adur & Worthing Councils.

It is one of just 14 projects in the country picked for the Design in Public Sector programme, which is delivered in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA) and aimed at tackling a complex public health challenge in ways that improve outcomes for residents.

The Councils will bring together representatives from the public and private and voluntary sector to look at the issue of skills and employment.

The aim is to create a fresh approach to ensure those furthest from the job market - such as individuals in temporary accommodation or on Universal Credit - are connected to employers who can offer long-term sustainable work.

Mary D'Arcy, Adur & Worthing Councils' Director for Communities and project sponsor, said:

“We are honoured to be among a small group of local authorities selected for this project which has the potential of making a real difference to the lives of our residents.”

“While the exact scope of the project will develop as we progress, we look forward to working with the Design Council and all of our local partners to build on the work we are already doing to support individuals into work.”

“If we get this right, it could lead to more people filling jobs in key areas of industry where perhaps recruitment and retention of workers is an issue. That is good news for everyone.”

Adur & Worthing's idea was one of only 14 projects across England to have been selected onto to the national scheme.

It will see members of the Design Council support councils and their health partners to explore their challenges and identify innovative opportunities to deliver positive and sustainable change.

In addition to Council staff, representatives from West Sussex County Council, local NHS groups, Greater Brighton MET college, the Department for Work and Pensions, voluntary sector and business groups are all set to be involved.

At a time when public health budgets are tight, and resources stretched, those behind the programme say it has the health of the nation at the core of its agenda.

Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive of the Design Council, said:

“Design is increasingly being recognised as a critical tool to help transform services in communities across the globe.”

“With increasing pressures on public health services and public-sector staff there is no better time for public health professionals to sign up to our Design in the Public Sector programme.”

“Whatever the challenge, design experts will help professionals to explore the issues impacting them and identify new ideas and opportunities to bring about positive change.”

Cllr Peter Fleming OBE, Chairman of the LGA Improvement and Innovation Board, said:

“We recognise that there is a growing movement of design thinking and innovation in public services and the LGA is keen to equip more councils with the necessary tools and knowledge.”

“Public health is an area within local government being asked to deliver prevention strategies and improve the health of our communities and we believe an injection of design thinking will help them to achieve this.”


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