Unemployed, NEET (those who aren’t in employment or training) and socially excluded 15-29 year olds in Nottingham will benefit from a new two-year project to help them re-engage with education, training and employment.
The £6.8m Nottingham Works project will guarantee support for 2800 marginalised and disadvantaged young people who are at risk of social exclusion because they have no work or any prospect of getting a job.
The project is funded by using Nottingham City Council and European Structural and Investment funds. It builds on the city council’s existing Step into Work*, Nottingham Jobs Fund and Nottingham Apprenticeship Grant schemes, but also includes:
• An intensive careers advice programme for 16 and 17 year olds
• Incentives for young people and employers to engage in Traineeships
• Ongoing mentoring for 16-18 year olds who may otherwise drop out of education aged 16
• A programme to support 18-24 year olds at risk of getting involved in gang activity, ex-offenders and those with mental health issues to secure employment.
A key area of focus will be the North Nottingham parliamentary constituency, an area that has struggled since the demise of manufacturing and which experiences high levels of unemployment, low educational attainment and social deprivation.
Cllr Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for jobs and growth, says: “We’re proud to have secured the funding from the EU to deliver this work. Nottingham has a good track record of supporting those who need most help. Since 2012 our Jobs Hub has helped over 10,000 people into work or training. This year the Nottingham Jobs Fund has supported over 330 employers to take on a new employee and the Jobs Hub has helped over 900 city residents to take up an apprenticeship.
“The new European funding will enable the Jobs Hub to continue to support both people looking for work and employers wanting to recruit people. We recognise that tackling social inequality has to be a priority if want all citizens to benefit from the emerging key growth sectors and the significant investment we’re ploughing in to strengthening our local economy. Everyone deserves a chance to work and earn but the playing field isn’t level. Some people need to overcome bigger hurdles than others to get onto the jobs ladder and we need to help break these barriers down.”
Nottingham North MP Graham Allen says: “This extra funding is very welcome and will help us build on our pioneering work around early intervention and other initiatives we’ve backed to help those most in need. Despite the challenges that some of my constituents face we have managed to keep levels of NEET low, but more needs to be done to ensure that they have the right skills and training to get into work. The competition for jobs amongst young people, particularly, remains fierce. Employers increasingly want people of all ages to have the necessary skills before they’re considered for vacancies, but how do you get those skills if you can’t get into work or training? Nottingham Works will help give those who can’t get a foot on the jobs ladder a much needed boost.”
Nottingham Works will be delivered by the council’s partner organisations across the city including Futures Advice, Skills and Employment which currently has the remit to help keep levels of NEET low in the city.
The programme starts in April 2016 and runs until March 2018.