Page added on March 7, 2013
Plans are on track to get nearly 200 young people in Leicester off benefits and into work, following an enthusiastic response from local employers to the city council’s new employment initiative.
Some 37 public and voluntary sector organisations have submitted applications to the council to express their interest in the Step-Up scheme – a council initiative that encourages local employers to take on an 18-24 year-old by meeting their salary costs for six months.
The 57 applications received from council departments, voluntary and community service providers, housing organisations, local training providers, the health service, local charities and the care sector equate to proposals for 189 new posts – 29 more than the council hoped to achieve in the first round of the scheme.
But before the posts can be advertised, the council will be appraising all the applications to assess the quality of the jobs – and to make sure that the employer is offering the right training and support to their young employees.
“We’re delighted with the response we’ve had from local employers,” said Deputy City Mayor Cllr Rory Palmer.
“When we launched Step-Up back in November, our target was to create jobs and meaningful work experience for 160 unemployed young people in Leicester.
“Early indications suggest that we’ll hit that target – which is extremely encouraging.
“I’m committed to tackling youth unemployment in Leicester and reducing the number of 18-24 year-olds claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance.
“This scheme can play a part in equipping our young people with the skills and training they need to get off benefits and in to permanent work.”
The city council will now appraise all the applications and plans to have a contract with the approved employers by the end of February.
Vacancies will then be released in phases – from the end of February until June – to Jobcentre Plus, multi-access centres and via work programme providers Action for Employment and Intraining. It is expected that most of the young people will start their new jobs from early April.
Opportunities are likely to include positions in administration, customer service, healthcare, sport and leisure, manual trades, marketing, IT and hospitality and catering.
Funding for up to 160 jobs is available in this first round of the Step-Up scheme.
The Step-Up scheme plans to address youth unemployment by offering 18-24 year-olds 26 weeks of paid employment that will give them the skills and experience they need to secure a permanent job. Young people in Leicester who have been out of work for six months or more will be specifically targeted.
More information is available at www.leicester.gov.uk/step-up
Step-Up is one of the initiatives introduced by the council to address youth unemployment – which is a key theme of the city’s Economic Action Plan.
– which was launched by City Mayor Peter Soulsby in November – focuses on five key themes that will help create jobs and training opportunities, support new and existing local businesses, and create the right conditions for growth over the next eight years.
More information is available at www.leicester.gov.uk/economicactionplan