Thursday, November 14, 2013

News: £5m youth jobs boost for Sheffield city region


The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark will today announce investment of £5m to help young people into jobs in the Sheffield city region.

England's eight core cities and 20 wave two cities were invited to submit proposals earlier this year for a share of up to £50m. The people behind the proposal had to prove they will be able to deliver innovative schemes explicitly designed to tackle the problem of youth unemployment.

£5m will be used in the Sheffield city region to offer intensive advisor and mentor-led support for young people, alongside a bespoke, employer-led training programme aimed at equipping young people with the right skills for local jobs.

The funding is from the Government's £1 billion Youth Contract, launched in April 2012 in response to the challenge of youth unemployment. It aims to provide nearly half-a-million new opportunities for 18-24 year olds, including apprenticeships and voluntary work experience placements. Support includes wage incentives worth up to £2,275 each for companies that employ an eligible 18 to 24 year old through Jobcentre Plus or from the Work Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg (pictured, second left) said: "Helping young people succeed is crucial to our economic recovery. That is why I am pleased to announce this cash for cities to invest in getting more young people into jobs.

"This is a multi-million pound cash boost for the future prosperity of our young workforce and, making our society fairer so that everyone has the chance to get on in life.

"Investment like this, paired with a determination to tackle youth unemployment by our great cities, has the genuine power to change the fortunes of young people across the region, whether it's with extra training, improving education or apprenticeships."

Nigel Brewster, board member on the The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and managing director at Brewster Pratap Recruitment Consultants, added: "Today's announcement is as good news for business as it is for young people.

"The Sheffield City Region LEP is squarely focused on economic growth – and this innovative programme will help give our businesses the skills they need to grow.

"Business leaders, myself included, have been working closely with councils and education providers to build this very specific programme aimed at matching young people with the right skills to meet the future needs of Sheffield city region's business."

Through the City Deal with government, the Sheffield city region is creating an apprenticeship model to tackle youth unemployment. An apprenticeship hub hopes to create 4,000 additional apprenticeships over the next three years.

Latest figures show that there were 12,965 (or 7.2% of) young people aged 18 - 24 claiming Job Seeker's Allowance in the city region in October 2013. Over 2,000 have been claiming for between six and 12 months and over 3,000 have been claiming for over a year.

Youth Contract website

Images: ODPM


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