A NEW initiative designed to get young people into employment has been given the go-ahead by Ashfield District Council.
Councillors approved the Ashfield Pathway to Work Package - which involves a number of different schemes all with the purpose of increasing work opportunities for young people - at last week’s cabinet meeting.
It is hoped the initiative will prepare and equip young people for future work prospects, as well as boosing job opportunities.
“We are trying to create as many opportunities as we can for young people,” said Coun Steve Carroll. “Even though these are difficult times economically we have to make sure that our young people are well equipped for future opportunities.”
The scheme will see 10 apprenticeship training places created at the council for young people, lasting for up to one year in order to complete a Level 2 vocational qualification.
With more than 1,000 young people aged 18-24 claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance in Ashfield alone, unemployment in young people continues to be a challenge.Another hope is that the scheme will have a positive impact on reducing anti-social behaviour and criminal offences in the community.
Apprentices will be recruited through a Job Shop delivered by Vision West Notts College. It is hoped that 40 young people will attend the initial two week selection process.
Here they will benefit from a wide range of work-related help, advice and training, such as constructing a CV and letter of application, interview skills, mock interviews and job tasters, before the successful 10 are selected to take up the apprenticeship schemes.
Coun Carroll added: “Mansfield has been running this scheme for a while and we have seen the benefits of it and so want to bring it to Ashfield.”
The Aim Higher is another element to the Pathway Package.
This enables small and medium sized employers to enrol an undergraduate for an eight week period over the summer during their three year degree course to gain valuable work experience with a view to a permanent position being offered at the end of the three years.
The Graduates into Enterprise Scheme enables a 26 week placement for recent or unemployed graduates with potential for permanent employment on completition.
Enterprising Ashfield is another element which reaches youngsters at root level. The scheme aims to increase the employability of youngsters through support, training and education whilst they’re still at secondary school.
The total cost of delivering the Pathway to Work Package is £140,830. Despite general funding not currently being available, it is hoped the initiative can be delivered as soon as funding arises, which is likely to be through Section 106 allocation.
Coun Carroll added:“We are endeavouring to get as much as we can from developers to help us deliver these objectives for the benefit of all young people across the district in helping to ensure employment opportunities are increased.”
For more information on the Pathway to Work Package, Aim Higher or the Graduates into Enterprise Scheme, contact Ashfield District Council on 01623 450000 or visit www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk.