A scheme to help the long term unemployed into work by reinvesting business rates revenue is being introduced by Coventry City Council.
The proposal is to use a small proportion of the Council’s Revenue collected through Business Rates to provide small grants to businesses in return for them employing long term unemployed Coventry residents on a contract of at least, £8.50 PH, for a minimum of six months.
The project will run for a year and will mean an initial budget of £50,000 is allocated to be spent over the course of the 12 months.
The scheme aims to gives opportunities for 20 small businesses to access grants of £2500 each to help 20 long term unemployed people into work. It will be evaluated in the first year to assess the financial savings and social benefits for the participants, and the businesses themselves.
Cllr John Mutton, Cabinet Member for Finance, welcomed the scheme and the importance of helping to support long term unemployed residents back in to work.
He said: “This is an important scheme that aims to kickstart the futures of people who for whatever reason have found it hard to get into the job market.
“It’s an excellent way of reinvesting Council revenues and I’ll be really keen to see how successful it is over the first few months of the scheme.
“It’s also an efficient and effective use of funds.”
The project will also support businesses to be sustainable and grow and expand through both grants and in providing access to untapped skill.
Cllr Kevin Maton, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, added: “Over the last five years Coventry has made tremendous progress in reducing the number of its residents who are out of work, supported by its flagship Job Shop.
“The scheme is a great way to incentivise small and medium sized employers to give an opportunity to people who have been out of work for a long period of time.”
Council employment and skills officers at the Coventry Job Shop are engaging with individuals who are long term unemployed and will sign them up to this scheme. This will improve their job prospects and add to the quality support they already receive through the Job Shop. The scheme will be open to both new and existing Job Shop customers who are long term unemployed.