Council’s £1.2m plan for Leeds’s young jobseekers

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A new fund looking to tackle long term unemployment among 18-24 years olds will launch in March 2014.

Towards the end of 2013, Leeds City Region was awarded £4.6m from the Government to deliver the “18-24 Head Start” programme to support young people into employment.

Leeds City Council will receive £1.2m of this money to fund a local programme which will offer 800 young people aged 18-24 years, who have been claiming jobseekers’ allowance for six months or more, the chance of a ‘head start’ into work through a supported work experience placement.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board this Friday, members will be asked to agree the new programme and how this will be delivered.

‘Head Start’ placements will last up to eight weeks and include training and a guaranteed job interview.

Each young person will also be entitled to a travel card of up to £80 and there will be incentives for employers who take part in the scheme.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for leisure and skills said: “Getting young people into work is a real priority for the council and it is great that we will be working with and supporting local businesses to ensure that young people can access new opportunities that will give them a new start. We have a number of very talented, job ready youngsters keen to get jobs, but in a market where there are at least four jobseekers to every vacancy it can be hard to find work without experience that demonstrates you have the ability to do the job.

“This new scheme will therefore allow us to continue to meet local business needs and offer unemployed young people, the additional help and support they may need.”

It will add to other programmes in the city, such as the Youth Contract initiative and the council’s Work@Leeds programme, which aim to boost young people’s employability skills.

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