Work coaches to be recruited to boost employment across West Midlands
Hundreds of work coaches are being recruited in the West Midlands as part of plans to boost employment after the coronavirus pandemic.
The move is part of a new package of support aimed at training and reskilling jobseekers, and comes as unemployment is expected to rise sharply across the region over the coming months.
The Department for Work and Pensions and West Midlands Combined Authority are spearheading the plans, which will match jobseekers with vacancies, ensuring they have the skills to meet local demand as businesses reopen after the lockdown.
Vacancies for 300 work coaches are due to go live over the coming days as part of a nationwide recruitment drive which will see the number double to 27,000 across the country.
The plans will also see six youth hubs open in the West Midlands, in an effort to provide more training and job opportunities to young people.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said: "Jobs are at the heart of the West Midlands’ plan to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, and we must do everything we can to either keep people in work or help those who have lost their jobs to get back in to work quickly. This is particularly important for our young people.
"This announcement reflects the way that jobcentres across the West Midlands are working with the Combined Authority and local partners to support our unemployed get back into work.
"We want to match jobseekers to vacancies, training people, where necessary, to get the skills that our economy needs now.
"We particularly welcome the commitment to joining up services to young people through the new youth hubs, making sure we are reaching out to communities across the region."
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said the Government was focused on getting people across the region "back to work".
"To do that, we need more dedicated people to join us as work coaches and move to the frontline of our national effort to revive our jobs market," she said.
"We supported record employment in this country just a few months ago, and we are determined to hit those highs again in time.
"To do so, we will need partnerships exactly like this one to help us get the right support to people – in this instance, support that is right for the people of the West Midlands and the local jobs market."