Plan to help young beat unemployment

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OFFICIALS at Ashfield District Council have unveiled a new project to give unemployed young people in Hucknall and neighbouring towns and villages the chance to boost their workplace skills — and ultimately land a job.

The authority is rolling out a voluntary work experience programme for people aged between 18 and 24 who are currently claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA).

The scheme is aimed at those who have little or no previous work experience so they can increase their skills and go on to secure employment.

Speaking at a recent Cabinet meeting, the council’s leader Coun John Knight (Lab), who formerly represented Hucknall, said: “I think it’s a great idea.

“It’s an excellent scheme and it does give people an insight into how we work in the public service.

“I don’t see any down side to it.”

Each placement would last between two and eight weeks and volunteers would work between 25 and 30 hours a week.

It will begin as a pilot scheme in one department and if it is a success, it will be rolled out to other areas.

The deputy leader of the council, Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, added: “We are starting it as a pilot so it gives us a good opportunity to see how things work.”

Councillors hope the scheme will help alleviate employment problems in the district by giving young people the chance to build valuable skills.

They have also reassured residents that there will be ‘no sanctions’ such as losing their benefits if they do not take part in the scheme.