Agenda item

Economic Inactivity in Gloucestershire


To receive a presentation on Economic Inactivity in Gloucestershire.


4.1       The Chair invited Katherine Martin, Data and Analysis Manager, to give a presentation on the Economic Inactivity in Gloucestershire. The main points highlighted were:

·         The national picture for 16–64-year-olds who were economically inactive from March to May 2023 was 20.9% which whilst higher than the pre-covid level (20.5%) was lower than its peak in May-July 2022 at 21.7%. In Gloucestershire, it was stated there were currently 17.3% economically inactive people aged 16-64 but pre-covid, this was 15.2%. Whilst this number was lower than the county’s peak, there were still 8300 more people aged 16-64 who were economically inactive.

·         There was a variety of reasons for the increase in the economically inactive but in Gloucestershire, the main reasons given were long-term sick or disabled, looking after home or family, retired or student.

·         Gloucester currently had the greatest number of economically inactive residents, Tewkesbury had the least number of economically inactive and the Forest of Dean had the highest rate of economic inactivity. However, it was noted that roughly every district followed the overarching county trend.


4.2       It was noted by a member that there was an error with final page of the presentation. It was confirmed by the officer that it should have read ‘Tewkesbury has the lowest number of economically inactive.’

ACTION – Katherine Martin


4.3      The Chair also invited Pete Carr, Head of Employment and Skills, and Sam Henson, Employment and Skills Hub Outreach Project Manager, to give a presentation on the Employment and Skills Hub Outreach (ESHO). A project which aimed to get the economically inactive back into employment, training or education. The following points were highlighted:

·         The ESHO was created to bridge the gap between the European funding (GEM Project) ending and the funding from the Districts’ UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which would begin in March 2024 by providing £600k of Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) funding to engage and support the economically inactive residents in Gloucestershire and to help them get back into employment, education or training.

·         The ESHO project had ten partnerships with voluntary and community sector enterprises in Gloucestershire. Seven of these were district specific partnerships and three were countywide.

·         EHSO employed Employment Support Coordinators (ESCs) who were employed by the delivery partner organisations to provide individual, tailor-made support to each participant.

·         Since the EHSO project began, they had had 264 referrals and 242 participants to date (1st September 2023). Up to the 1st September 2023: they had helped sixty participants into employment, thirty-one into education or training and forty-seven into volunteering.

·         The final slide of the presentation listed what each district council needed to do to use their ‘People and Skills’ UKSPF funding for the continuation of the EHSO project.


4.4       Responding to a member’s question, the officers confirmed that the ESC’s played an integral role in providing additional support to their clients including helping them to create online General Practice (GP) appointments and linking them with social prescribers. However, it was noted that they were hoping to be able to do more with the Integrated Care Partnership in the future.



4.5       When asked about the participant’s difficulty with using the bus service and whether this had been flagged to GCC’s Bus Improvement Task Group, the officers emphasised that in addition to the accessibility and availability of public transport and taxis, there was a need to increase customers confidence and familiarity with using public transport. The project was doing this through travel training. It was noted that the project planned to gather more feedback about the transport needs and challenges of their customers in order to communicate these to the relevant groups.



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