Council calls on Government to match fund youth unemployment work
Telford & Wrekin Council and its partners have called on the Government to match their investment of £1.3 million to help tackle youth unemployment in the borough.
The Council’s cabinet member for employment and skills, Shaun Davies, has written to the Employment Minister, along with the chair of the Marches LEP, chair of the Telford Business Board, chief executive of the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, as well as the principals of the two local colleges.
The letter demonstrates the initiatives that the Council has introduced since it launched the Job Box earlier this year and the positive impact these are having on the rate at which our youth unemployment is falling in Telford and Wrekin.
Councillor Davies and his colleagues wrote to Esther McVey MP in January to ask the Government to offer more flexibility over national initiatives for youth employment.
Figures in the summer showed that the number of 16–24 year olds estimated to be unemployed now stands at 1,000 less than the previous year.
The rate of youth unemployment in the borough has fallen by more than a quarter in 12 months, from 3,700 in July 2013 to 2,700 in June 2014.
In the letter to the Minister, Councillor Davies says that additional funding would allow the Council to look to enhance real work training for young people who cannot reach the required level to enter into the labour market.
Match funding of the Council’s own investment of £1.3 million, from the Government would enable the Council to continue with its programme of support beyond 2016, enhance services currently offered and ensure that young people in the borough are continued to be supported into work.
Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for employment and skills, said: “I will continue to push to meet with the Minister to discuss how Telford & Wrekin Council is tackling youth unemployment.
“We’re delivering on reducing rates of unemployment and helping local people into work and we want the Government to recognise our commitment.
“It is our view, in Telford & Wrekin, that national programmes are failing to effectively address the issue of youth unemployment.
“We’ve still got much work to do locally but the figures show that what we’re already doing is working.
“Telford & Wrekin has lost over £50 million of it’s grant from central government but has still invested £1.3 million into this key area of work.
“We are not asking the government for special treatment but merely to match fund or pay us by results, this is what they do to profit making companies, why not to a council.”