Wolves at Work job service will be saved, says council
Money will be found to rescue an under-threat jobs service which has helped 4,500 people into work in the last two years, council bosses have vowed.
The Wolves at Work scheme was facing being shut down next March due to a lack of sustainable funding, despite “exceeding its targets”.
But now finance bosses at the city council have agreed to keep the vital service in place – saying funding, if not met through external sources, will be found by the council.
It is currently match-funded by Wolverhampton Council and the Department of Work and Pensions.
Claire Nye, director of finance at the council, said: “We’re continuing to work hard to secure the funding sources and if we are not successful the pressure would be on the council’s budget to keep it running.”
The pledge comes after a report to the Audit and Risk Committee highlighted that funding was an issue, with efforts now being carried out to secure the cash.
Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Combined Authority have lobbied the Government in a bid to keep it running.
Peter Farrow, head of audit at the council, said: “The council is now seeking alternative funding to run the project.
“We felt the programme was running really well and successful and the council is continuing to seek arrangements so it can continue.”
Former council leader Roger Lawrence said the partnership, which started in 2017, was only ever intended to be a three-year deal – but said there was “further work” to be done.
Phil Bateman, who represents Wednesfield North, said: “This is important because it’s a very successful joint partnership and I think it’s really of huge benefit.
"It’s obviously something which has worked for the city of Wolverhampton and there’s hope to bring in some extra funding for it.”
Wolves at Work was projected to help 3,000 residents find sustained employment in the city – but has so far helped 4,487.
It comes as the number claiming unemployment benefits in the city increased by 40 to 9,650 in July.