Youth unemployment in Hartlepool has continued to tumble to reach a new all time low.
The town has experienced the biggest drop in the whole of the UK from 17.6% of young people out of work in October 2011 to just 3.7% in April of this year.
It marks a further reduction from the previous all time low of 4.5% in July last year.
Councillors on Hartlepool’s Regeneration Services Committee welcomed the continued improvement which it said was largely down to partnership working.
An update on the issue presented to the committee stated: “Since the inception of Hartlepool’s Youth Investment Programme, youth unemployment has dropped from 17.6% in October 2011 to 3.7% in April 2016, the largest drop in the UK.
“Hartlepool’s youth unemployment is now less than the Tees Valley average.”
Hartlepool Borough Council has been the lead authority on the Tees Valley wide Youth Employment Initiative which is aimed at helping people aged between 15 and 29 to find work.
More than 1,000 people are signed up to the £19million scheme.
And the Hartlepool Youth Investment Programme (HYIP) launched in September 2012 bringing together all of Hartlepool 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.
It includes offering grants to young people to start their own business and stepping in to give support and mentoring to secondary school students identified as being at risk of becoming long-term unemployed.
Councillor Jim Lindridge said: “I’m delighted with the youth unemployment figures. I think it shows the commitment that the council has got to working with the partners.”
And committee chair Coun Kevin Cranney, added: “I’m really pleased to see lately that our youth investment programme is over achieving. Let’s keep bucking the trend.”