Government offers support to tackle youth unemployment in the Leeds City Region
The Leeds City Region has been successful in securing £4.6m from Government to address youth unemployment.
In September, the Leeds City Region Partnership was invited to submit a bid to Government, outlining the ambition to reduce youth unemployment in the region and become "NEET-free".
Working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, the ambition is to support the group of over 23,000 unemployed 18 - 24 year olds who are currently claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), in particular the 10,000 who have been on benefit for over 6 months.
It is anticipated that through the support of this funding and local programmes, over 1,160 jobs could be created for 18-24 year olds in the City Region.
Building on the agreement of the City Deal with Government last July, the £4.6m will be used to provide targeted support for at-risk and long-term unemployed young people, as well as delivering an innovative pilot to look at the role that Employment Agencies can play in helping young people into work. It will also be creating a new Young Ambassador Scheme to offer peer mentoring, support and advice to young people. The investment is part of a pot of cash from Government for cities to invest over the next three years.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
"Helping young people succeed is crucial to our economic recovery. That is why I am pleased to announce a Government investment of £4.6 million for the Leeds City Region to help get more young people into jobs.
"This is a multi-million pound cash boost for the Leeds City Region to invest in its young people and the future prosperity of the city, 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."
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Board said:
"Whilst the economic recovery in the region is looking positive, we need to strengthen our offer to young people which in turn will enable job creation. The LEP’s bid to Government signals that supporting our young people is a priority for the Leeds City Region and I am delighted that the Government have recognised the vital steps we mean to take."
Cllr Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council and member of the Leeds City Region LEP Board said:
"Every young person in our region should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Unfortunately, if we do not make real progress in tackling youth unemployment we risk wasting the talent and potential of thousands of our young people.
Ensuring that young people have the skills employers in this region need will not only boost our economy and help businesses thrive; it will make a huge difference to tackling persistent inequalities that blight many of our communities. For that reason tackling youth unemployment must remain the key priority for Leeds City Region."
Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Wakefield Council and lead on youth unemployment for the Leeds City Region, said:
“I am delighted to welcome this funding so we can make the most of job opportunities for our young people. By joining up with other local services, we will be able to support SMEs in the region by offering practical help for businesses to hire an unemployed 18-24 year old and help them claim a £2,275 wage incentive. I look forward to working with colleagues across the Leeds City Region to support our young people into work."