LEP progress on reducing youth unemployment recognised by EU

The LEP’s work to reduce youth unemployment will be shared with policymakers from across the European Union today as part of a Europe-wide initiative to create new job opportunities for young people.

The Leeds City Region is the only UK city region invited to take part in the URBACT Job Generation event ‘What can cities do to grow jobs for young people?’

Sue Cooke, Head of Skills and Enterprise at the LEP, will address a panel of senior EU representatives to share the challenges the region faces in tackling youth unemployment and how the LEP is working to develop a NEET-free City Region.

The LEP is taking part thanks to its nationally recognised success on supporting young people into employment, education and training. Its Devolved Youth Contract for example has a success rate of 70% in Leeds City Region compared with 30% nationally, and has created opportunities for around 2,000 young people to participate in employment, education and training.

Two of our successful programmes, one to create apprenticeship opportunities in small businesses and another to support 18-24 Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants into employment, have each supported over 700 young people to date and will be highlighted to the panel as examples of successful initiatives that create and sustain employment.

Youth unemployment is falling in Leeds City Region with a 31% reduction in unemployment in 18-24 year olds over a 12-months period from October 2013 to September 2014.

The aim of the URBACT event is to share experience and expertise from across the EU which will then feed in to the URBACT Capitalisation process. This project is led by Mike Campbell, international labour market authority and member of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel, and will look at 300 cities globally to develop recommendations on what cities and city regions can do to increase jobs for young people.