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New city council cash lifeline for young people backed
A NEW lifeline for young people in Worcester has been confirmed - with a £35,000 project to help them find work officially finalised.
The city council's Labour leadership has voted to fund a new scheme to help 18-24 year-olds grab employment.
As your Worcester News revealed last week, the money will pay for an outreach worker employed by the city's Community Trust to mentor young people referred for help.
During a cabinet meeting, councillors said it was "the right thing to do" given the city's youth unemployment rate.
It also emerged that the council plans to develop the project further, saying it is eyeing up a possible future deal with Worcestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership.
In Worcester 1,815 people were claiming Jobseekers Allowance as of January, a fall of 364 on the same period last year.
Some 440 of those were aged 18-24, the second highest figure in Worcestershire after Wyre Forest, where it stood at 450.
Councillor Geoff Williams, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: "There are a significant number of people either claiming benefits or outside the Labour market entirely.
"In terms of value for money this is very favourable for the city.
"We are viewing this as a pilot project, which could be developed further with a possible bid to the Worcestershire LEP."
The new recruit will also alert young people to existing training, apprenticeship and work experience opportunities.
The idea for it came about after talks with the trust, Worcester College of Technology, the Prince's Trust and the Job Centre Plus on the barriers young people face.
The money for it is coming from the Worcester's New Homes Bonus cash, a yearly funding pot from the Government in return for encouraging property building in the city.
The outreach worker can also refer the young people for help on CV writing and interview techniques, and offer them self-employment support.
It comes after a £175,000 cash injection was launched in September last year to help young people in the city.
That money helps fund an apprenticeships programme, ran in conjunction with Worcester College of Technology .
It means small companies can get grants of £500 in return for taking on an apprentice.
It was originally the brainchild of the old Conservative administration, and has been continued by Labour.
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