Angus joint child poverty local action plan
Reducing Child Poverty Project
Delivery Partners: Dundee & Angus College
Poverty Driver Impact: Income from Employment
Increase engagement with the most vulnerable members of our communities to break the long-term cycle of disadvantage, disengagement and poverty, providing intensive support to reduce barriers, improve skills, access training and qualiﬁcations and reach a positive destination.
Implementation of Change Plan
Dundee and Angus College has been successful in securing an Access Grant through the Scottish Governments Child Poverty Fund. This is a strategic fund facilitated by the Scottish Funding Council (Child Poverty Working Group) and the College sector. Funding has been conﬁrmed until July 2019 with the potential for this to be extended for a further two years. The funding will support two strands of the project:
- Project Team A: Broader based interventions to engage and empower lone parents, carers and Care Experienced young people in the Angus and Dundee areas, with the view to increasing the college proﬁle and enhancing accessibility and uptake with education, employment or other options through a programme of positive interactions and opportunities.
- Project Team B: Delivery of 14 week intensive training programmes (minimum of two per annum) targeting disengaged 16-19 years olds in the Dundee and Angus areas. These programmes will provide opportunities to engage in behavioural change, boost self-conﬁdence and resilience, improve physical ﬁtness, enhance emotional health and well-being, nutritional support, develop skills in employability and vocational subjects, gain accredited qualiﬁcations, participate in work experience, a community challenge and create a sustainable action plan for the future to support transition into sustained employment, education or other opportunities thereby reducing the potential of living a life in poverty.
Clients from both project teams will beneﬁt from additional, concentrated support through the college life cycle – ﬁnancial, social, emotional and behavioural.
Subject to funding, short and long term outcomes have been identiﬁed for both strands. Ultimately, these outcomes will re-engage disengaged young people from our communities and reset attitudinal barriers to education, employment and progression.
Project Teams A and B have programmes planned to 31 July initially. A full project plan is underway detailing key milestones to July 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Poverty Driver Impact: Cost of Living
Having a stable and good quality home as the lynchpin of improving life chances, targeting those areas most in need, improving service delivery
Implementation of Change Plan
Investing heavily in two areas of Arbroath where levels of child poverty are highest in the area between the harbour and Warddykes, known as the Abbey Quarter; and at Timmergreens.
At the Abbey Quarter we have removed poor quality 5 storey flats that previously housed young families, as they were poorly insulated and had a bad design that did not encourage social interaction for children or outside play. We re-housed existing tenants into better and more efficient low rise homes, being careful to accommodate them as far as possible within existing catchment areas of schools. We are now building high-quality low rise mixed sized housing to accommodate a range of household types, which will improve social cohesion. A careful design layout provides safe amenity and play space for children, by managing traffic on site in a way that gives preference to pedestrians, with motorists giving way. We are also funding the re-design of a road junction to provide traffic signals that will improve the route to school for the children from the houses.
At Timmergreens we are removing poor housing that has attracted stigma over many years and has recently been seen as housing of last resort, for poorer families. This is being replaced with cottage style accommodation that will surpass the quality of the houses around. We are working with our Schools and Learning colleagues to coordinate our regeneration with our school estate improvement programme. We are providing better connectivity by creating active travel routes, making safer routes for children to walk or cycle to school. We are also funding new play areas and equipment. The homes themselves will have very high levels of insulation, extra space for studying, and in-curtilage parking.
Since 2011/12, the Council has prioritised delivery of over 400 new affordable homes across communities in Angus. These have been delivered directly by the Council as well as housing association partners and have been supported by the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme.
The Council is building around 40 new homes each year, but that will soon increase to around 70 per year. Much of this investment is focused on housing-led regeneration in our most deprived areas, aimed specifically at improving the local environment.
The Local Housing Strategy has a target to deliver at least 20% of new affordable housing as suitable for people with particular needs, at least half of which should be suitable for wheelchair users as we recognise the link between disability and poverty.
- Healthy eating and food growing initiative, North Arbroath working with schools and third sector partners in the North of Arbroath, one of our most deprived areas, to help promote healthy eating and food growing for our tenants and their children.
- providing land for people to grow food, and learn how to cook nutritious food at low cost
- Children are involved directly through the local schools, whilst supermarkets are providing a range of fresh foods.
- We provide community cooking facilities for demonstration and hands-on learning
- Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan ensure that families experiencing homelessness can secure permanent accommodation much more quickly,
- reducing stays in temporary accommodation
We have ensured that we consult and involve the local communities whenever we can. The houses and their surrounds belong to the community. Where you can have their input and assistance to frame what it is they need to thrive, then that early buy-in results in happier and more secure neighbourhoods. Staff are highly motivated and equipped to better serve the public by improving our processes and priorities. Partnership working is essential to deliver the best services possible. We consult and work alongside housing associations and the third sector to maximise results for all.
The Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 projects that over 600 new affordable homes could be delivered in the next five years. Around 40% of these will be built in areas which are in the Scottish Index of Multiple deprivation bottom quintile (lowest 20%).
In a more holistic sense, we are modernising our business so that we can make savings from a digital transformation, and re-invest in our frontline services to support our most vulnerable customers. We will re-provision our staff resources more effectively to focus on customer engagement and service quality and target our resources in the most deprived areas where child poverty is prevalent. For example, we have already re-planned substantial investment in our Bathroom replacement programme so that it begins in Brechin, an area of concern in terms of child poverty.
Shared Apprenticeship Limited (SAL)
Delivery Partners: SAL, Dundee & Angus College, Construction Industry Training Board (CiTB)
Poverty Driver Impacts: Income from Employment
Increase access to high quality, sustainable employment for the young people of Angus and Dundee Stimulate and sustain growth in the construction sector particularly for SMEs who struggle to compete and grow in this current economic climate
Implementation of change process
SAL is an innovative programme that is a collaborative approach between public and private partners to increase the skills levels in the construction sector, while still being young-person-centred. All apprentices are employed by SAL for the duration of their apprenticeship and whilst working towards their qualification, each apprentice is placed with a number of private sector employers. The private sector employer contributes towards the wage cost of the apprentice whilst they are with them. There is no contribution required from the employer when the apprentice is on holiday or at college. All employment terms and conditions lie with SAL, which offers the young person comfort that they will get a well-rounded apprenticeship and for the employer the comfort that there is no risk in committing to a four-year apprenticeship. Angus Council also has SAL options embedded into their community benefit clauses in their public procurement to further promote the project.
Young people are offered opportunities to start an apprenticeship in the fields of bricklaying; joinery; roofing; painting and decorating; and most recently electrical and civil engineering. A large proportion of the apprentices have come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or those who have some other barrier to employment such as learning difficulties. The programme provides more than just employment – it has been instrumental in mentoring and enabling young people to develop the skills and confidence to lead more independent lives. Whilst only in its 4th operating year the success of SAL is outlined below:
- the company has a workforce of 40 apprentices
- Dundee City Council joined the programme in 2017
- turnover of apprentices has been low, with 5 having left the programme through either ill health; change of career; or (1) poor timekeeping
- 3 apprentices were invited to represent the local college in the Scottish heat for the National Skill Build competition. One apprentice was placed second in the joinery category for Scotland
- company runs at 95% apprentice utilization with local employers
- there are 39 employers signed up for the programme
- the company was a finalist and highly commended at the Dundee and Angus Courier Business Awards category ‘New Small Business of the year’.
- winner of the Delivering Excellence Award from Scottish Government at the COSLA awards 2018
There were initially some doubts around whether take up with local employers would be supported, recruitment of suitable candidates and sustainability of those employed. These challenges were overcome in large part by having a dedicated point of contact, a SAL coordinator, to act as the promoter of the programme, monitor for the apprentices and to deal with any issues faced by both apprentices and employers.
SAL continues to grow. We have provided additional funding to our young people who can face additional barriers such as purchasing of safety equipment, travel expenses which can be a particular problem in Angus or any other expenses that act as a barrier to sustaining their apprenticeship as we want to ensure that these opportunities are available to all.
Impact of Poverty Awareness Training
Delivery Partners: NHS Tayside, Angus Council Welfare Rights Team
Poverty Driver Impact: Income from Social Security and Beneﬁts in Kind; Costs of Living
Increasing knowledge, skills and conﬁdence for NHS, Local Authority and Housing Association staff to enable routine and appropriate referral of patients/clients to income maximisation/ﬁnancial inclusion services via agreed local pathways, and encouraging inequalities-sensitive practice.
Implementation of Change Process
Course content covers: Raising awareness of poverty, including in-work poverty; reducing the stigma associated with living in poverty; supporting poverty and inequalities sensitive practice; and how to signpost people in poverty to sources of support. This work forms part of a wider range of initiatives around the development of ﬁnancial inclusion referral pathways and encouraging inequalities-sensitive practice within NHS Tayside.
Four courses have been delivered in Angus since April 2017 with 53 people attending. Participants report signiﬁcantly improved knowledge and understanding as a result of the training. Comments from evaluations include:
- more knowledge of impact of poverty and where to direct people for help
- better understanding of welfare beneﬁts system
- will now look more carefully into reasons for things and be more respectful in my questioning
- more aware of colleagues’ situations
- will be able to help staff affected by in-work poverty and assist them in ﬁnding information and advice to help their situation
A real lack of awareness exists in relation to poverty issues and what living in poverty really means for many families. This is particularly true of in-work poverty, the general assumption being that if you have a job then you are not poor. There is therefore a need for continued roll-out of the training alongside other awareness-raising activities in an effort to improve understanding and combat stigma.
In the coming year, training provision will continue with additional courses being offered to speciﬁc groups of staff in NHS midwifery, health visiting and child and family services.