£800k jobs boost

AN £800,000 boost has been revealed for the Tees Valley fight against youth unemployment.

The Department for Work and Pensions has awarded a £500,000 Flexible Support Fund grant which has been boosted by equal contributions from all five local authorities across the area.

The money is expected to be used to support 400 people in their fight to get back into work.

Hartlepool Borough Council will lead the way and administer the project on behalf of all five authorities.

The programme will be delivered in conjunction with Jobcentre Plus, working with the Skills Funding Agency and existing public, private and third sector networks.

They will all come together under the umnbrella of the regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited whose managing director Stephen Catchpole said: “The funding will allow partners to provide individual support packages as we look to enable young people facing multiple barriers to employment secure jobs.

“Whereas previous programmes have offered a prescribed route, the Flexible Support Fund grant will give specific, personally targeted help in areas such as literacy, numeracy, work trials, work experience, volunteering and bespoke training.”

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “This is a further, welcome boost to Hartlepool and the Tees Valley and Hartlepool Council is pleased to be administering the scheme on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

“Supporting young people into training and jobs remains a key priority for Hartlepool Council and this funding will help create new opportunities for the young people of our town. It also sits well with the council’s current push to create apprenticeships for young people.”

The Flexible Support Fund grant will also help to fund partnerships with more than 500 Tees Valley employers - and encourage them to bring in new apprenticeships.

The programme will start this month and continue until March next year.

More details are available on the Tees Valley Unlimited website at http://www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk/.