Lottery cash should help young find jobs

By Connie Osborne Friday 31 January 2014 Updated: 31/01 10:02

A TOTAL of £1.5million will be used to help young jobseekers in Worcestershire find employment.

The Big Lottery Fund has announced the county will receive the money as part of a scheme to address youth unemployment rates.

As part of a project called Talent Match, money will be used to help those aged between 18 and 24 who are struggling to find career opportunities and have been out of employment or education for at least 12 months.

The number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobseekers’ allowance in Redditch is at its lowest level since December 2007 but there are still more than 300 young people out of work.

Latest available figures also show there are 121, 16 to 18-year-olds in the borough not in education, training or employment.

The Shaw Trust, which was awarded the money, will work in partnership with St Basil’s, YMCA and Hope Unlimited, to create solutions to drive up employment opportunities.

Those who will be targeted by the project will include people who are socially excluded, experience learning difficulties and are at risk of offending as they face much higher rates of unemployment, homelessness and dependency on public help.

Nat Sloane, England chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Youth unemployment is an issue that threatens the hopes of an entire generation as well as our whole economic wellbeing.

“Talent Match promises to help the very hardest to reach young people to make the most of their skills and ambitions, not just as an end goal, but by giving them a say in how the programme itself is designed and put into practice. The funding announced today is a key step on a very exciting journey as it means the real work can now begin. “

She added, by bringing together the private sector and the knowledge of key charities, the scheme will help ensure today’s young people have the maximum help and support they need to find a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Michelle Bellamy, head of learning and skills at Shaw Trust, said they were delighted to receive the money and have the opportunity to work with the organisations involved.

“As a charity with a history of working in the Worcestershire area, we have a strong track record in helping local people facing disadvantage to get into work, gain skills and take control of their futures.”

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