Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Economy Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 14th October, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions

Contact: Michael Williamson 

Note: This meeting can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/629398961 

Items
No. Item

47.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2021.

Minutes:

A Member commented that a report that described how the recommendations of the Poverty Truth Commission were being implemented should be included as an item on the Committee’s work programme (see ESC/21/42 Manchester’s support for families living in poverty).

 

Decision

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2021 were approved as a correct record, subject to the above amendment.

 

48.

Work and Health pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy attached

 

This report provides an update on the activity of the most recent Working Well programmes (Work & Health, Early Help and JETS) and the impact of the programme overall in Manchester.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Inclusive Economy that provided an update on the activity of the most recent Working Well programmes (Work & Health, Early Help and JETS) and the impact of the programme overall in Manchester.

 

Working Well is a well-established Greater Manchester Combined Authority commissioned programme which is based on a key worker model bringing together support to tackle barriers that affect people’s ability to enter the labour market and sustain jobs.  It has evolved since 2014 to reflect a focus on different target groups, with the latest being the Work and Health programme. In 2020 it was expanded with the JETS programme as part of the National Plan for Jobs in response to COVID19. 

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                Providing and introduction and background;

·                Describing the content of the report in a Health and policy context;

·                Describing the Manchester Population Health Plan 2018-2027 that set out a priority of ‘Strengthening the positive impact of work on health’;

·                An overview of each Working Well programme and its impact in Manchester;

·                Economic recovery and the Government’s Plans for Jobs; and

·                Conclusions and next steps.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                Noting the positive progress made in relation the Real Living Wage;

·                An explanation was sought as to the reason the ‘no work requirements group’ continued to rise from c10,000 to c17,000;

·                Comparative figures were sought, where available across the range of metrics reported as this would assist with the scrutiny process;

·                Clarification was sought as to the type of jobs and sectors people were accessing through the initiatives;

·                An analysis of the success of the Kickstart programme should be included on the Committee’s work programme;

·                Was the reported support for 8,000+ Manchester residents over the next 3 years as part of the Restart progamme an ambition or part of the contract with Ingeus;

·                The need to recognise the importance of the quality of jobs people were accessing and this importance this had on people and their outcomes;

·                The need for programmes to be flexible to respond to the changing needs and demands of the labour market;

·                Supporting the adoption of the Real Living Wage;

·                The need to consider what was best for the individual and not focus on targets and welcoming the reported holistic approach taken by advisors;

·                Calling for more regional control on the design and delivery of skills programmes;

·                Requesting the independent evaluation of the Population Health Prevention Programme be shared with Members when this was available;

·                Noting that people were often reluctant to engage with the benefit service due to the perceptions that any reassessment of their benefits would result in them being financially worse off or having to commence the claiming of benefits again;

·                An update on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) was sought, noting the importance of the for both Manchester and the wider city region;

·                Welcoming the Working Well programme that had helped drive Disability Support Webinars with Small,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Build Back Fairer - COVID-19 Marmot Review: Housing, Unemployment and Transport pdf icon PDF 531 KB

Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy and Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships attached

 

This report provides an overview of the Marmot Build Back Fairer report focusing on housing, unemployment and transport in Manchester, in line with the remit of the Committee. The report discusses the impact of COVID-19 on housing, unemployment and transport in the city, relative to health inequalities, and outlines Manchester’s response to recommendations in the Build Back Fairer report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Inclusive Economy and Strategic Lead Policy and Partnerships that provides an overview of the Marmot Build Back Fairer report focusing on housing, unemployment and transport in Manchester, in line with the remit of the Committee. The report discussed the impact of COVID-19 on housing, unemployment and transport in the city, relative to health inequalities, and outlined Manchester’s response to recommendations in the Build Back Fairer report. 

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·                Providing and introduction and background;

·                Describing the impact of COVID-19 in a Manchester context;

·                Noting that The Marmot report detailed the disproportionately negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had in Greater Manchester;

·                Describing the factors that had affected the inequalities in infection and mortality from COVID-19 in Greater Manchester;

·                Noting that Manchester’s residents had been disproportionately negatively impacted by the pandemic. 

·                Describing a range of factors such as Housing, Work and Unemployment, Transport and Active Travel in a Manchester context and describing the associated The Build Back Fairer report summaries; and

·                Providing information relating to the Marmot Report Framework and Recommendations and detailing the Manchester’s response to these Recommendations.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                The need to retrofit domestic properties, particularly those in the Private Rented Sector;

·                The need to protect tenants from eviction if they did complain about disrepair in their privately rented accommodation;

·                The need to promote the Good Employment Charter, noting the impact that good quality employment could have on a person’s outcomes;

·                The call for improved and affordable public transport to connect residents with employment and training opportunities;

·                What metrics and timescales would be used to measure progress against the Marmot Recommendations;

·                Noting that the Marmot Review and Recommendations was a tool that could be used to demonstrate to the Government the need for appropriate levels of funding to address the identified inequalities;

·                Welcoming the recognition that being in good work was usually protective of health while poor quality work, stressful jobs, and unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment, contribute significantly to poor health and low wellbeing and increase the risk of mortality;

·                Consideration needed to be given to all needs of different residents, including disabled residents when considering the re-design of how major areas of the city centre would function and to reallocate space to walking and public realm;

·                More information was sought on the Anchor pilot scheme;

·                Noting that the NHS was a major employer in the city and a key partner of the Council they should use their procurement policies and scale of purchasing to deliver Social Value; and

·                The need for accessible and affordable child care places; especially for those families who were earning just above the threshold for free child care.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Employment stated that COVID-19 had highlighted and exacerbated many of the health inequalities that existed in the city. He described that prior to this the city had experienced a sustained period of austerity and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Opportunities and issues for older workers in the Labour Market pdf icon PDF 568 KB

Report of the Director of Inclusive Economy and Consultant in Public Health (Ageing Well Lead) attached

 

This report provides data on the employment and skills status of workers (aged 50 to 64) in Manchester, how they have been impacted by Covid and the actions being taken to connect them to opportunities in the City as part of the Economic Recovery Strategy. The report also includes work with City Art Gallery and an exhibition which highlights the experience of older women.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Inclusive Economy and Consultant in Public Health (Ageing Well Lead) that provided data on the employment and skills status of workers (aged 50 to 64) in Manchester, how they had been impacted by Covid and the actions being taken to connect them to opportunities in the City as part of the Economic Recovery Strategy.

 

Key points and themes in the report included:

 

·           Providing and introduction and context, noting that older workers who are out of work are twice as likely to be long-term unemployed as younger workers who are out of work;

·           Describing the situation for Older Workers in Manchester;

·           Data on Employment and Skills for those residents aged over 50 years old;

·           Data on the levels of Universal Credit claimants for those residents aged over 50 years old;

·           Describing the Impact of COVID-19 on employment;

·           Challenges and issues, including the digital divide and the digital inclusion work underway to address this;

·           Information on Age Friendly Manchester (AFM) and Manchester’s Ageing Strategy - Manchester: A Great Place to Grow Older 2017 – 2021;

·           Programmes and work being delivered across Manchester Age Friendly Employment; and

·           Conclusions.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·                The need to give due consideration when describing digital skills when discussing the over 50’s as the range of knowledge and experience could differ greatly;

·                Noting that it was socio economic barriers that presented the largest challenge to many older residents;

·                The need to recognise that over 50’s had a wealth of other experiences that they could bring to the work place;

·                Noting the need for employers to recognise and accommodate the different life pressures experienced by older workers;

·                People should be supported and encouraged to prepare a CV rather than having to reply solely on submitting job applications on-line;

·                Welcoming the reported co-creation activities, adding that this approach of utilising and learning from lived experience should be applied to all services and programmes and would there be any evaluation of this undertaken;

·                Had consideration been given as to the impact of Long Covid

 

The Director of Inclusive Economy acknowledged the comment made regarding the need to recognise the different needs and challenges for people over the age of 50, and the different existing skills sets within this cohort. She commented that in Manchester the digital inclusion work had targeted over 65s.

 

In response to the comment made regarding CV’s the Director of Inclusive Economy commented that Manchester City Council had changed its policy and would now accept a CV and covering letter, however acknowledged the wider point on this issue. She further stated that a report on the outcomes of the co-creation activities would be submitted to the Committee at an appropriate time for consideration. In response to the issue regarding Long Covid and its impact on the over 50s she advised that no specific data was currently available however this would continue to be monitored.

 

The Programme Lead –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.

Minutes:

The report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme.

 

In response to a question from the Member the Chair commented that the COVID-19 Situation Report would be included as a regular item on future agendas and that the Economy Dashboard would also be included at the appropriate time.

 

Decision

 

The Committee note the report and agree the work programme, noting the comments above.