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New £35,000 lifeline to be offered to young people in Worcester
A NEW lifeline is being offered to Worcester's most disadvantaged young people - with a £35,000 project to find them work kicking off.
Worcester City Council wants to help boost employment between 18-24 year-olds, saying it would help the economy if more of them have jobs.
The funds will help pay for an outreach worker, employed by Worcester Community Trust, who can offer one-on-one support and mentoring to young people referred for help.
The new worker will also alert them to existing training, apprenticeship and work experience opportunities.
The £35,000 scheme, which is expected to be confirmed by the council's Labour-led cabinet next Tuesday, has come about after intensive talks over how taxpayers' cash can be used to boost youth unemployment.
It included dialogue with the trust, Worcester College of Technology, the Prince's Trust and the Job Centre Plus on the barriers young people face.
A lack of work experience was often cited as a factor which makes it more difficult for young people to find work.
Poor internet access, below average basic skills in maths and English and a lack of networking were also highlighted as other reasons.
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.
Councillor Geoff Williams, deputy leader and the cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: "Our aspiration as a council is that in our bid to create greater prosperity for Worcester, no community will be left behind.
"There is also a direct economic benefit to the city in helping young local people find work, as we are increasing their disposable income which has to be good news for Worcester businesses."
The outreach worker can also refer the young people for help on CV writing and interview techniques, and offer them self-employment support.
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, below the 450 in Wyre Forest.
The cabinet is meeting on Tuesday, March 11 at the Guildhall from 7pm to agree the spending.
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