Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Councillor Ali declared an other registrable interest in this item by virtue of his appointment as a Director Positive Steps. He left the room and took no part in voting thereon.
Consideration was given to a report of the Director Education, Skills and Early Years which sought approval of the acceptance of a portion of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) funding to be provided via a direct grant agreement with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and to secure delivery of the funded activities from September 2023 up until 31st March 2025 in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules.
The skills grant funding of £720,000 and had been allocated by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to deliver or secure the delivery of the 15-19 NEET support programme for 2023/23 and 2024/25.
Option 1 -
(a) modify the current contract in place between the Council and Positive Steps Oldham with effect from September 2023 to include the provision of a comprehensive engagement and transition offer that will enable young people to successfully engage in a positive learning or work destination and develop the skills and confidence to continue into a sustainable career pathway at a cost of £200,000; and
(b) build the activities to be delivered during the period 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 into a new contract, which will be commissioned in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules with the remaining grant funding for 2024/25 (and any future funding awarded) to be incorporated into the new arrangements for NEET provision delivery.
This option provided the shortest gap in delivery of the programme, but still allowed the flexibility to align the funding to any new arrangements that may be in place on 1 April 2024.
Option 2 - To commission grant funded activities for the full grant period in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules.
This option presented the risk of a gap in service delivery and support for young people at a critical time (Autumn term) in their transition to Post 16 provision.
RESOLVED – That:
1. The acceptance of the funding for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund via GMCA for the 15 – 19 NEET support be approved and authority be delegated to the Director of Education, Skills and Early Years to approve and enter into a grant agreement with Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
2. The service delivery arrangements in respect of the grant funded activities, as detailed in this report, from September 2023 up until 31 March 2025 in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules be approved and authority be delegated to the Director of Education, Skills and Early Years to approve and formalise any necessary commissioning activity or contractual arrangements.
Publication date: 25/08/2023
Date of decision: 21/08/2023
Decided at meeting: 21/08/2023 - Cabinet
Effective from: 02/09/2023