CALDERDALE has agreed to link up with Wakefield Council to become a partner in a part European Union-funded scheme to help people who have been unemployed long term get back into work.

Calderdale Council and Wakefield Council are in the process of bidding for half of £6 million funding for the project, with each council match-funding around a quarter each. Calderdale’s financial commitment will be £1,299,413.

An application has been submitted for a three-and-a-half year programme to Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for European Social Funds (ESF) to deliver activity across Wakefield and Calderdale to help people who are long-term unemployed or inactive.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Resources, Councillor Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said the grant would help get people back into work people who had become unemployed or inactive, for example people with disabilities and the over-50s, and with a focus on people who had been long-term unemployed.

The Cabinet supported the recommendations which will ensure Calderdale can play its part.

Councillor Bob Metcalfe (Lab, Town) asked if Brexit might affect the grant but Cllr Scullion said her understanding was that the British Government had guaranteed to underwrite the scheme were it necessary.

“But it’s a fluid situation, watch this space,” she said.

Wakefield Council is to act as the accountable body and Calderdale’s contribution can be funded through existing staffing revenue, Cabinet members were briefed.

The project will also include education or training and it will cover issues around health, confidence, housing, debt and family matters.

Target groups include people who are long-term (out of work for more than two years) unemployed, the over-50s, lone parents, people with a disability, people with other health problems, ethnic minorities, people who lack basic skills and women at a disadvantage in the labour market.