Government announces £4 million package to help tackle youth unemployment in Greater Birmingham
Greater Birmingham is to receive £4 million of Government funding to help young unemployed 18-24 year olds into work and apprenticeships.
The funding will be used by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to help young unemployed people to benefit from job growth in the area.
A large focus of this will be on the new jobs associated with growth sectors – particularly in manufacturing.
The announcement was made at the Skills Show at the NEC, which included a Local Enterprise Skills Summit hosted by the GBSLEP and attended by 22 of the 39 LEPs.
The bid submitted by the GBSLEP, Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council will also provide an employment support and job matching package for 18-24 year old unemployed residents across the LEP area.
In Greater Birmingham, a total of 14,375 18-24 year olds are claiming Job Seekers Allowance, a rate of 7.1% well above the national average of 5.5%.
Of these, 3,135 have been on benefits for over 12 months.
While focused on ‘hotspots’ of youth unemployment, the funding will be used right across the GBSLEP area over the next three years.
The allocation form part of a £30 million allocation announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark.
Andy Street, GBSLEP Chair, said: “Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges we face here in Greater Birmingham and our bid has worked to provide us with the resources we need to tackle it.
“We know private sector jobs are being created and our latest figures show 19,000 were created in Greater Birmingham in 2011-12.
“But we also realised many of the long-term young unemployed people need support and mentoring to access these opportunities.
“Crucially, this funding will offer intensive personalised support and mentoring to enable these young people to start an apprenticeship or get back to work.”
Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs & Skills, at Birmingham City Council, said: “Tackling youth unemployment is a hugely important challenge and a priority for this administration. This funding means we can take further steps towards making our society fairer, so everyone has the chance to get on and prosper.
“We look forward to making a real dent in youth unemployment across Greater Birmingham.”