200 jobs to be created in £1m Sandwell scheme
More than 200 jobs and apprenticeships will be created as part of a new £1 million council scheme aimed at tackling youth employment in Sandwell.
Sandwell Council has pledged funding to provide young people between the ages of 16 and 24 with at least six months of paid employment.
Cash will also go towards training and apprenticeship opportunities as part of the project called The Sandwell Guarantee.
The council will work with businesses to create the new positions and would fund 50 per cent of the salary for a maximum of 12 months with the employer contributing the rest of the wages.
The programme will be aimed at young people who are unemployed and not in education or training.
Council bosses say the level of youth unemployment is high with a total of 2,925 18-24-year-olds currently receiving Jobseekers Allowance.
It is estimated the scheme will create 44 apprenticeships for 16-18-year olds and 170 job opportunities for 16-24-year-olds. The cost of the scheme is expected to be £1m.
The council's director for regeneration and economy Nick Bubalo said: "The level of youth unemployment in Sandwell has been identified as a significant challenge for the borough.
"As well as young people perhaps not having the necessary education or skills to obtain meaningful work, changes in the labour market, recruitment practices and lack of social contacts have been identified as possible causes for being unemployed."
He added: "The Sandwell Guarantee will ensure young people in Sandwell are given access to jobs by providing a clear way into employment via an apprenticeship or job opportunity.
"The programme will provide part-funding for the young person's salary."
"A six-week access programme will be offered as the first stage to prepare young people for the world of work. The programme will be delivered by Sandwell College and other training providers."
The council will be contacting businesses,who have not previously recruited young people, to ask them to sign up to the scheme. Officers will help with recruitment and training.
Employers will be requested to sign a pledge to commit to offer work experience, internships, apprenticeships and employment to young people in Sandwell.
The jobs created will have to be new and not replace existing posts or staff.
They will have to last for a minimum of six to 12 months and where appropriate have the ability to be turned into an apprenticeship.
The council is also working with Jobcentre Plus to offer training courses in sectors including food and drink, construction, business, horticulture,
advanced manufacturing, health and social care.
Members of Sandwell Council's cabinet will be discussing the scheme at a meeting next week.
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