Jobs project is launched

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A PROJECT to help improve job prospects for the young people of Hartlepool was being launched in Hartlepool today.

Around 60 employers, educationalists, civic leaders and other key organisations were to come together to unveil the Hartlepool Youth Investment Project (HYIP) at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.

The town currently has the second highest rate of youth unemployment in the country with 1,225 – around 14.6 per cent – of 18-24 year olds unemployed. The rate is over double the national average.

Hartlepool Borough Council says reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) is a top priority.

Under the project, four key areas will be developed, including:

l Working with schools, post-16 providers and employers to make improved routes to apprenticeships and employment for young people leaving school;

l Delivering tailored mentoring and re-engagement programmes to help them progress into education, employment or training;

l Offering young people greater access to apprenticeships, internships, work experience and work trials;

l Providing pre-employment programmes and routes into work for 18 to 24-year-olds.

A number of targets have also been set for the project.

They are to have 150 16 to 24-year-olds enter employment, with access to training, 500 16 to 18-year-olds to have access to an internship with a local company who will provide mentoring support, 200 young people identified as at risk of becoming unemployed to have access to mentoring support and a re-engagement programme and have 500 local employers to promote the project and to advise on opportunities including advice on grants, support with recruitment and apprenticeships.

Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration services committee, said: “The unemployment statistics for young people in Hartlepool are among the highest in the country and it’s vitally important that all of the key organisations work incredibly hard together to reverse this trend.

“The HYIP brings together employers, schools and colleges, the council and other key bodies to ensure that the best possible advice and support is available to give the young people of our town the best possible chance in life.”

He added: “Given the current climate economic, the task is not going to be easy but I am sure that everyone involved will give their total commitment to a project that can only benefit young people and the town as a whole.

“I’m pleased that several targets have been set for the project because this provides the opportunity to monitor progress and evaluate its effectiveness.”

If anyone wants any details about the project they should contact the council’s Julie Seymour on (01429) 523520.