Youth unemployment in Hartlepool has fallen to an all-time low following a reduction of more than 12% in less than three years.
The rate now stands at 4.5% and reflects the on-going success of a major project set up to improve the job prospects of the town’s young people.
In June this year there were 370 people aged 18-25 claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance, compared to October 2012 when 1,470 young people claimed and it stood at 17.8%.
The Hartlepool Youth Investment Project (HYIP) began in September 2012 and brings together all of Hartlepool Borough Council’s youth employment initiatives and those of partners, including schools, colleges, Jobcentre Plus, the National Apprenticeship Service, work-based learning providers, the voluntary sector and key employers whose support underpins the scheme.
It promotes collaborative working to improve the employability and entrepreneurial skills of young people so they are well prepared for the world of work.
Coun Kevin Cranney, chairman of the council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “Amazing progress has been made in tackling youth unemployment and that is largely down to the success of the HYIP and the hard work and energy of everyone involved.
“The project is a model of good practice in terms of successful partnership working and I would like to congratulate the council’s staff and our partners on their excellent work.
“Young people are the future of this town and it is vital that we equip them with the right skills to be successful.”
Other notable successes of the HYIP include:
• The Youth Enterprise Fund – a partnership between the council’s Economic Regeneration Team and Youth Support Service to offer grants of up to £250 to young people aged 11-19 who want to start their own business;
• Youth Guarantee – In September 2014, 230 Year 11 pupils from secondary schools in Hartlepool identified as being at risk of becoming long-term unemployed were given support and mentoring to ensure a successful transition to post-16 learning or employment;
• Environmental Apprenticeship Scheme – since September 2012, 32 young people aged 18-plus have been given a 12-month contract within the council’s Neighbourhood Services section;
• Armed Forces Employment Pathway – This is an initiative that involves working in partnership with the Armed Forces, Hartlepool College of Further Education, JobCentre Plus and local employers.
The first course started in June this year with 11 young people aged 18-plus starting a week’s residential at Catterick Garrison followed by two weeks of training at the college and then a three-week work placement with a local employer.
Individuals, companies and other organisations wanting further information about the Hartlepool Youth Investment Project should telephone Julie Seymour on 01429 523 520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org