Experts have pledged their support to combat youth unemployment as part of the new Foundation for Jobs in Redcar & Cleveland, launched earlier this week.
The initiative calls for closer working between business leaders, educationalists, politicians and government officials to create opportunities for the borough’s young people.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is co-ordinating the project aimed at delivering further reductions in youth unemployment which has tumbled from 16% to about 9% since January, 2013.
Mark Hannon, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said that with a national average of 3.7% the borough’s figures were still unacceptably high.
Councillor Hannon said: “The Foundation for Jobs in Redcar & Cleveland will be led by the council and will call upon many public and private sector organisations.
“Working with the industry it aims to create additional apprenticeships and internships, as well as building closer links with business for young people who are still at school.
“It’s a proven strategy for preventing them falling into unemployment.
“The initiative will work in partnership with the Foundation for Jobs in Darlington and other schemes that are emerging to create a Tees Valley-wide network to support our young people.”
The foundation aims to ensure that young people have the skills and abilities to fill the 2000 vacancies per year that are expected in Redcar & Cleveland.
In addition, delegates discussed what needed to be done to increase the number of opportunities that are available to local young people.
Workplace experience is one area that both employers and young people agree is lacking and as the pledge develops it is expected to be a key area to address.
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, Professor Graham Henderson CBE DL, who chaired the group, said:
“Finding ways to help young people into employment is a vital part of our work as a University and I am delighted to be able to offer my support to this initiative.
“By forging links between the private and public sector, Foundation for Jobs has had a tremendous impact on the amount of opportunities available for young people in and I am sure we can bring that knowledge and expertise to Redcar and Cleveland.”
PICTURED (above): Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Chief Executive, Amanda Skelton, Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive of Teesside University Graham Henderson CBE DL, Councillor Olwyn Peters, Member Champion for Youth Employment and Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism & Culture, signing the pledge alongside young residents of the borough.