Council Cabinet to consider youth unemployment success

Youth unemployment has reduced by more than 50 per cent since Telford & Wrekin Council made a commitment to tackle high levels in the borough.

Council Cabinet to consider youth unemployment success

Last year the Council has committed to reducing high youth unemployment levels in the borough and has invested £1.3m in its two year programme.

In March last year, the Council launched the Job Box, which pulls together a range of education, training and employment support at its first Partnership for Jobs fair.

As a result of measures taken by the Council in the last 12 months, youth unemployment in the borough has fallen and now stands at 15.7 per cent, below the West Midlands rate (at 19.8 per cent) and the national rate (at 17.3 per cent).

Cabinet approved a series of pledges focussed on tackling youth unemployment and ensuring that support is available to every 16–24 year old in the borough who needs it to get into employment or training. 

Many of these pledges have been achieved or bettered in the last year:

· The target of 100 work experience placements at Telford & Wrekin Council has been hit.

· The target of 150 apprenticeships in the Council has been exceeded and now stands at 165.

· 120 young people have been supported into work through our Job Box Mentor programme in a year, against a target of 200 for the whole two year programme.

· 2014 has seen twice the number of users at Job Junctions compared to 2013 figures, as well as an increase from eight to 17 Job Junctions around the borough.

· Plans for an apprenticeship hub are progressing and are due for a soft launch at the Partnership for Jobs fair on 18 March.

· At the end of January 2015, 40 young people are being supported to start their own business against a target of 25 new start ups by the end of October 2015.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet will consider the progress report on youth unemployment on Thursday 19 March, the same day that the Council hosts its first Partnership for Careers skills festival.

The Partnership for Careers skills festival on Thursday 19 March will be attended by 40 local and national employers from a range of skill sectors including engineering, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, IT, business, professional and many more.

The skills festival is aimed at school and college students, as well as anyone else who might be considering a career change.

The day before, on Wednesday 18 March, the Council’s Partnership for Jobs fair will return to The International Centre, Telford for its second year.

The first jobs fair, held in March 2014, attracted about 4,000 job seekers and over 100 businesses. 

Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Employment and Skills, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress made on tackling youth unemployment in the past year.

“It was our aim to bring our youth unemployment levels in line with national levels by the end of the two year programme; however after just 12 months we have already exceeded our own expectations with youth unemployment in Telford and Wrekin now below national levels.

“Next week we’ll be hosting our second Partnership for Jobs fair and introducing the Partnership for Careers skills festival.

“After the success of last year’s event, we’re pleased to be repeating the jobs fair this year.

“This event will be a fantastic opportunity for local people to find information on job vacancies, training opportunities and advice and support services available to them.

“The skills festival will introduce our local young people to the careers available in the area and the paths into these.” 

The Partnership for Jobs fair will be open 11am–7pm on Wednesday 18 March 2015 at The International Centre, Telford. 

The Partnership for Careers’ Skills Festival will be open to schools and colleges 10 am–3pm and to the general public from 3pm–7pm on Thursday 19 March, also at the TIC.