Council set to launch £3 million cash pot to tackle youth unemployment in Wolverhampton

A £3 million cash pot has been launched in a bid to help boost youth employment in Wolverhampton, council chiefs have revealed.

Wolves at Work 18-24 will help young people currently claiming benefits into employment, apprenticeships education or training.

It comes after the city was left with the highest unemployment rate for 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK, equating to 2,660 young people.

Council leader Councillor Ian Brookfield said: "Children and young people, and youth employment, has always been a focus and priority for the council and city. It features heavily in the Council’s Relighting Our City plans.

"Despite the fact there are already extensive and ambitious programmes and interventions in place to tackle this challenge, they are not having the desired impact. Therefore, a reinvigorated and comprehensive programme of targeted interventions will now be developed.

"Wolves at Work 18-24 urgently delivers the step change needed in our city to give unemployed young people opportunities for secure, sustainable employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

"With the end of the furlough scheme likely to further exacerbate the challenge, it is clear that the council cannot address this challenge in isolation, it is therefore absolutely essential that the council leads and drives a coordinated and sustained response with city employers and partners, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Government departments – a ‘One City’ Response, with young people and their voices at the centre of every element of the response."

If the programme is approved at cabinet next week and full council on November 3, it will launch with a "City Ideas Fund" of initially £100,000 for city employers and partners to submit bids to fund new ideas aimed at getting more young people into sustained employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

The council is also set to host a Wolves at Work 18-24 City Summit to bring together a range of partners – local, regional and national – to create a "One City" approach to tackle the issue.

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