GBSLEP launches initiative with DWP to support local people into local jobs
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are working together to support those seeking work in Birmingham and Solihull into employment.
During the last few years, the GBSLEP and its partners have worked hard to put in place initiatives that create the right economic climate to generate the level of confidence and momentum needed to secure long term growth and prosperity.
Improvement in the local economy is evident but the significant level of unemployment in the region remains an issue, despite a substantial number of jobs being available.
To try and address this issue, the GBSLEP and DWP are today launching a programme of work supported by a commitment from the Chancellor George Osbourne to invest in 100 new DWP work coaches for Birmingham and Solihull.
Andy Street, chair of the GBSLEP, said: “While we have some good educational attainment results, some brilliant Further Education colleges and a burgeoning economy, the number of people with low or no skills is shamefully high. Our levels of productivity are also still hugely challenging which is a further reflection of our skills levels. There are 30,000 people claiming unemployment benefit in
Birmingham and Solihull, but at the same time there are 60,000 job vacancies.
“This is why we have launched an initiative between the GBSLEP and the DWP to help support local people into local jobs. In his speech outlining the Long Term Economic Strategy for the Midlands, the Chancellor announced funding for 100 new work coaches for Birmingham and Solihull – that’s a £5m investment to help unemployed people find work. To maximise this opportunity we need the help of the wider business community. We would like businesses to give advance notice of their vacancies to the DWP so that they can get people ready for the recruitment process. We also need them to offer work experience opportunities which will help give people the confidence they need to be successful at interview.
“John Lewis for example has made a corporate pledge to work alongside the DWP and GBSLEP to use this resource pool to help fill some of the jobs at the new flagship store opening in Birmingham in September.”
Sandra Lambert, Jobcentre Plus Central England Group Director said: “Jobcentre Plus is committed to providing the resources needed to support local people into work.
“That’s why we’re deploying 100 Work Coaches to support 20, 000 jobseekers find work within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise partnership area.
“We’re calling on employers to give a four week exclusivity period, giving local jobseekers the first shot at filling their vacancies. Employers can also help by offering work experience and support our ambition to find 10,000 work experience places for jobseekers to improve their employment prospects.”
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