Greater Manchester has received a boost in its battle to turn the tide on unemployment in the region – with a new scheme receiving £13m from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The announcement arrives just as the Office for National Statistics reveals that more than 695,000 UK workers have been removed from payrolls since March (when the coronavirus lockdown began).
The DWP have allocated the funds towards an innovative programme titled WHP JETS – which has been approved by GM leaders and offers early support to those who have recently become unemployed.
According to the GMCA, the programme is set to help approximately 13,200 people in the city-region find long-term employment.
Launching in October, it will be available for jobseekers who have been unemployed and in receipt of benefits for at least 13 weeks.
Councillor Sean Fielding, Portfolio Lead for Digital, Education, Skills, Work and Apprenticeships said: “It’s great that the Government has recognised the achievements of our already successful Working Well programme and now with this funding the scheme can expand to help recently unemployed people in the city-region.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a detrimental impact on our local economy and it is vital those effected are given support to find employment again as soon as possible.
“The programme is expected to help people secure employment after taking part in the scheme for six months, which will also aid the city-regions recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Running until March 2022, the JETS Scheme will provide support with CV writing, job searches and interviewing.
Participants will also be given advice and guidance around confidence building and self-efficacy ‘through a sector-based approach.’
JETS will operate as part of Working Well – a family of local services which have been commissioned to support those in the area struggling to find or hold down employment.
According to the GMCA, Working Well programmes have achieved employment outcomes for over 6,500 residents since its launch in 2014.
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.