Report from the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment.
1. Approve the acceptance and planned spend of an annual Multiply grant of £408,000 from SYMCA, for each of the years 2023/24 and 2024/25.
2. Delegates authority to the Assistant Director of Planning, Regeneration and Transport in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, to agree grant awards, within the terms and conditions of the funding, to colleges, community organisations and other training providers to deliver the agreed learning activity and outputs for the Programme.
Consideration was given to the reported that detailed the next steps for the Multiply programme. Multiply was a national programme to improve numeracy skills, focusing on supporting people aged 19+, who did not have a Level 2 Maths qualification.
Multiply funding was allocated through the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), which intended to devolve funding to the four local authorities in South Yorkshire to arrange delivery in their local area. The Council received £194,000 for 2022/23, which was granted to voluntary and community organisations for local delivery of predominantly engagement and confidence building work.
SYMCA was providing a further £408,000 per annum to the Council for each of the years 2023/24 and 2024/25. This would provide funding for a Multiply Manager to design and secure implementation of a Multiply Programme in Rotherham and grant funding to commission third party organisations to contractually deliver the programme outcomes and activity agreed with the South Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority.
The recommendations were then proposed and it was highlighted that when presented at Scrutiny that it was a concern that members had not heard about the programme and more effective communication was required to ensure there was a greater reach.