EMPLOYMENT Minister Mark Hoban is calling on Hartlepool businesses to support an initiative to help young people into work.
Mr Hoban is appealing to firms in the town to take up the Government’s Youth Contract wage incentive.
Companies will receive up to £2,275 if they take on a young person who has been out of work for six months.
“Taking on a young person means you’re investing in the future but it can also come with extra costs and that’s why we’ve put the money on the table,” he said.
“We’ve already been advertising in the town to get the message out there but I want more businesses to take up our offer.
“It’s a win for your business and a win for your new recruit.”
Mr Hoban says the Government offers more than 100,000 work experience places each year so young people can get the skills and experience they need to get a job.
He added: “Unemployment is a tragedy for anyone, but I’m particularly aware of the impact it can have on young people if they are unable to find a job quickly.”
Despite the various Government schemes, the number of 18-24 year olds claiming jobseekers allowance in the town last month was just 35 less than January last year.
The number of young claimants in Hartlepool did drop to 1,320 in June last year, the lowest since June in 2011, but rose again and currently stands at 1,425.