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Wirral Ways To Work ILM Grant Information

Wirral Council has a grant offer that aims to stimulate the supply of employment opportunities available to Wirral young people aged 16-29 who are unemployed, i.e. not in employment, education or training (NEET), especially those from disadvantaged groups.  Participants must be Wirral residents.

There are a limited number of grants available so it is important that you complete and return the Expression of Interest Form (below) at your earliest opportunity as funding applications will be selected on a first come first served basis, subject to approval and meeting the eligibility requirements for the programme.  No applications will be processed unless this form is completed.

What is an ILM?

An ILM is an Intermediate Labour Market Job Role offered to a young person by an employer lasting up to 6 months (26 weeks).  The young person cannot be registered on an Apprenticeship programme whilst on the ILM programme.  It’s hoped that they can transition into an Apprenticeship at the end of the Grant Period or at least sustain a permanent position with your company.

What does this involve?

You will offer a young person an ILM job opportunity for 6 months (26 weeks) and in return you will receive a grant of approximately £5596.50 depending on age of participant, that is based on £6.15 NMW. This grant should be used to supplement the young person’s wages during this period. You will receive the grant in a series of staged payments, running along side your normal payrole.  Priority will be given to employers who can offer employment beyond the 6-month grant period, and if there has been sustained outcomes from the 1st round of ILMs for other young people this will go in your favour.

Taking on a young person

In order to qualify for the ILM Grant Offer you must be willing to employ a person who meets the following criteria:

  • Is 16-29 years old – (priority will be given to young people in vulnerable groups)
  • Additional consider offering an Internship (work experience) for learners with learning difficulties/disabilities or short work experience.
  • Is a Wirral resident
  • Is currently unemployed, or not in education, employment and or training (NEET).
  • Must have an National Insurance Number and eligible to work in the UK.
  • Must have a Bank Account.

Wages and Hours of work

In order to qualify for this funding, you must pay your young person at the NWW for a 18-20 as a minimum even if they are younger than 18. 

The Employer will pay the NI contribution as normally required and Pension if they pass the threshold, just like any other employee.

Employers who currently pay the Living Wage will receive priority in the EOI

We expect you to employ your young person for a minimum of 35 hours per week.  (lower hours can be considered on an individual basis and must be because they have a significant barrier. If they work over the 35 hours that would be at your own cost and will sit outside this grant and you should consider Working Directives for all ages.

Employer Requirements:-

You must have a

  • Current Business Bank Account.
  • Wages must be paid by BACS.  No cash payments or cheque payments will be possible.  
  • If you pay for sickness, then we will pay this in the grant. 
  • If you don’t pay for sick this will be deducted from your grant.   
  • No deductions will be made for Holidays. 
  • All participants will be entitled to Holidays. 
  • All wages must be paid by an Official PAYE payslip in order to draw down the grant funding.   
  • All grant payments must be evidenced with an Official Bank Statement, not sage or similar financial operating systems. 
  • An Offer of Employment Letter and a Contract of Employment will be required immediately on start.  (A trial period is recommended before participants start on the ILM grant).

Unless all eligibility/start paperwork is complete no payments will be made.

We are particularly interested to hear from employers linked to the local growth sectors or who have a community interest.  Sustainability of the employment passing the grant period will be key to the Expression of Interest Form being successful.   Priority will be given to employers who will consider a Supported Internship/SEN ILM for young people with moderate learning difficulty/disabilities – (work experience) as well as an ILM participant as part of the scoring process.  Also, previous sustained employment for young people from the 1st round of ILMs will be taken into consideration and working relationships on the claims process throughout the programme between ourselves and yourself will be taken into consideration.

Social Corporate Responsibility

This programme is designed to give young people a first step into employment who would not normally get this opportunity for whatever reason and could have multiple barriers to sustaining a job under normal circumstances.  The grant period is to support young people who may have vulnerabilities making their transition from NEET to sustained employment sometimes a difficulty journey.   If you want an employee who has no issues, doesn’t require support or training or mentoring, giving them confidence to succeed then this is not appropriate way to recruit an employee for your company.  The funding is not to replace or expect a young person to have experience skills and knowledge in a job, it for you and your company to nurture and bring out the best in the young person, allow chances and not expect that they will pick up everything first time.  We are working with supported internships providers to help employers with young people with SEN.  We are working with the probation service and young people with multiple barriers.  Having empathy and encouragement is necessary throughout the programme.  If employers have taken young people on in the past and this support is not evident or the young people never reach a sustained opportunity after the grant period, then this will be taken into consideration on any further funding given.

However, the success of the previous programme has shown that these particular vulnerable young people once given a much needed opportunity into work, become the best employees for the future. 


Please return Expression of Interest Forms by email to:

Joanne Smith email: (

ESIF Manager 14-19 Team, Wirral Council, Birkenhead Town Hall

Hamilton Street, Birkenhead Wirral, CH41 5BR

If you would like an informal discussion regarding this offer then please contact either:-

Joanne Smith(ESIF Manager) on 0151 666 5238

Roy Vernon (ESIF Officer) on 0151 666 5239

Karen Taylor (ESIF Officer) on 0151 666 5241

Zoe Hough (ESIF Officer) on 0151 666 5243  

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