A NATIONAL programme to help Crewe families overcome barriers to employment has been launched.

Cheshire East is part of the Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington ‘package area’, which will receive £16.4 million over the next three years.

Clr Hilda Gaddum, cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: “This programme is very much about a family having somebody there to help co-ordinate a package of action and support for them.

“It will build upon the work currently undertaken by a range of partners and will offer guidance and mentoring to families. Many parents, for example, may well have the relevant skills to find work but might be faced with childcare issues which are preventing them from working.

“Yet, at the other end of the scale, it might be the case that a family member may need support to become fully skilled so that they can be considered for work.”

Clr Roland Domleo, cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, added: “The aim is to provide a whole family approach and to make support available to family members of all ages. It is then up to them whether they take up the offer.

“Investing money in this way is a classic win-win situation. Coordinated support means more effective and efficient use of our resources and the families benefit from more effectively combined services.

“Employment, of course, brings its own benefits in relation to income, self esteem and reduced pressure on welfare budgets.”

This ESF (European Social Fund) backed programme was awarded in the North West region and is being delivered in Cheshire East by Pinnacle People.

Planning is already underway with a range of organisations in Cheshire East to utilise the programme to ensure the best outcomes for families.