Report to follow
The Committee gave consideration to a report of the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Equalities which addressed the question of how the Council played a role in reducing health inequalities in Trafford through its influence on the wider determinants of health, with a particular focus on the role of employment.
The Director of Growth and Regulatory Services and the Consultant in Public Health attended the meeting to present the information and answered the questions of the Committee.
Officers outlined the strong correlation between employment and health. In Trafford, the gap between overall employment rate and people with a long term health condition in 6.4%. The gap increased dramatically in relation to people with a learning disability or in contact with secondary mental health services.
The number of young people 16-18 Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) in Trafford had increased since July 2020. Officers outlined the measures in place to tackle this increase such as the Trafford Pledge, an employment initiative which matched local residents, in particular those groups disadvantaged in the labour market with local opportunities. To date the Trafford Pledge had supported over 1285 residents into employment.
Officers informed of other measures which aimed to support groups such as people aged 50+ and disabled people into employment.
Officers continued outlining the commissioning strategy to design services which met the needs of specific groups at risk of poorer health outcomes. Officers made reference to strategies such as the Learning Disability Strategy and programmes such as cancer screening and other initiative at Greater Manchester level to promote employment for sub-groups of the population.
Officers highlighted that the Council worked closely with businesses on a number of programmes and work relationships and collaboration had become stronger during the pandemic.
Members sought and received clarification on a number of matters such as the difficulties experienced by people with mental health conditions and the support available in the form of early intervention programmes as well as fostering a strong organisational culture around health and wellbeing of employees, preventative approach and employees feeling valued and appreciated. The Council could influence other employers to adopt a similar approach to health and wellbeing of the workforce.
Officers informed the Committees that meetings were taking place across the Borough with many employers to discuss and inform on the consequences of the recovery post pandemic, to encourage companies to be more sensitive towards their workforce.
Members sought further clarification with regards to the reasons why the 50+ unemployed was a more numerous group than younger cohorts and what were the strategies to support this group into employment opportunities. Officers explained that this was due to the demographics in Trafford and efforts would be directed into ensuring that this cohort was supported to gain the skills to match employment sectors with staff shortages.
Members asked how employment opportunities were being advertised by the Council. Officers explained that there was a community focus as well as a bulletin and a business team linked to Partnerships and Voluntary Organisations.
The Committee asked how Council addressed the gender gap linked to high proportion of female workers in low paid jobs. The Committee also wanted to learn about programmes for supporting people with Down’s syndrome into employment.
The Committee enquired about how employers who covered more than one role, had the opportunity to progress and how many of them could go into full time employment.
Members requested to know how the commissioning strategy had changed during / post pandemic to face the increase in domestic abuse.
Officers agreed to provide written answers to these last three questions in due course.
1.That the report be noted.
2.That a follow up report to update on the various initiatives highlighted in the report be presented in 12 months.