Youth unemployment more than halved in a year in Telford and Wrekin

Youth unemployment in Telford and Wrekin has more than halved in the twelve months to September 2014.

Youth unemployment more than halved in a year in Telford and Wrekin

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today show that there were an estimated 1,900 young people, aged 16–24, unemployed in the borough for the period of October 2013 to September 2014.

This is 2,500 less than one year previously (4,400), a reduction of 56.8 per cent.  

Telford & Wrekin Council has committed to reducing unemployment levels in the borough, particularly high levels of youth unemployment, and last year launched the Job Box.

The Job Box was set up to pull together a range of education, training and employment support and its services have helped many local people into employment and many more are now being supported.

Last March, the Council hosted a jobs fair which saw over 4,000 job seekers attend, looking for work. The Council will host its second Partnership for Jobs Fair on Wednesday 18 March, followed by a Partnership for Careers event on Thursday 19 March, at The International Centre.

As a result of the measures taken by the council, youth unemployment in Telford and Wrekin has been decreasing at a greater rate than the regional and national rates.

According to ONS, the modelled rate of unemployment in Telford and Wrekin fell from 9.4 per cent in the year ending September 2013, to 6.2 per cent for the year ending September 2014. This places Telford and Wrekin below West Midlands (7.2 per cent) and below the England rate (6.5 per cent).

The number of people estimated to be unemployed in the borough was 5,200. This is 2,400 less than a year previously (7,600) a reduction of 31.6 per cent.

This is the lowest rate the borough has seen since March 2009.

This comes as figures for the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in Telford and Wrekin in December 2014 fell below the English rate (1.9 per cent), to 1.8 per cent, for the first time since March 2008.

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for employment and skills, said: “These latest unemployment figures show that our new Job Box services are working for local people and getting them into employment or training.

“A fall of over 50 per cent in the number of young people out of work in the borough is brilliant news for everyone.

“We’re really pleased to be able to announce that we will be repeating the jobs fair again and this year, to also be hosting a skills festival which will broaden the appeal of the event and provide more careers advice.

“I am continuing to push to meet with the Employment Minister to discuss how Telford & Wrekin Council is tackling youth unemployment.

“The ONS figures show that we are delivering on reducing rates of unemployment and helping local people into work and we want the Government to recognise our commitment.

“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.

“We have a track record on reducing youth unemployment, we want the Government to trust us with tackling long-term unemployment in the borough and pay us for the results of this.”