City of Wolverhampton Council is set to launch into a new £3 million partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help improve city employment rates - with a focus on getting young people into work.

Type=image;ImageID=11367;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Tackling city employment rates;TitleClass=strong;

A report detailing how the partnership will work was approved by Cabinet today (Wednesday 30 November).

The council and DWP are committed to a bespoke 3 year programme for Wolverhampton.

It is based on successful schemes delivered in other parts of the country, and is aiming to get 3,000 people into sustained employment, including at least 1,000 young people.

Up to 30 work coaches will be taken on to work with employers and help people into work, so that young people not only have a better chance of getting a job, but also go on to thrive within the workplace.

A 'Wolverhampton Work Pledge Card' is also planned for January 2017, which will ask the largest employers in the city to provide meaningful work experience and a commitment to local recruitment, as outlined in the city's procurement charter.

A pool of 'City Work' mentors will also support young people alongside the work coaches.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "The city is now much improved in terms of education attainment at GCSE level - but this is not translating into low levels of youth unemployment.

"Much is being done to improve education and learning and also stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities.

"However, the evidence is increasingly showing that these factors alone will not address the issue, given its scale and the complexity of the root causes.

"The city's Skills and Employment Action Plan is providing solutions and this partnership with the DWP will enable us to make a real difference in improving employment rates in Wolverhampton."

The Wolverhampton Skills and Employment Action Plan is overseen by a board made up of representation from local employers, schools, further education, higher education, the voluntary sector, council, Jobcentre Plus and DWP.

Included in the plan is The City Work Place - focused on fully integrating workforce recruitment and development into the city's business support offer delivered through the Growth Hub; The City Workbox - focused on creating a fully functioning, interactive website which will act as a 'front door' to provide local people, businesses and providers with improved access to information, advice on skills and employment; and The Learning City - focused on the development and delivery of the City Centre Learning Quarter.

Other organisations in Wolverhampton, helping to tackle youth unemployment are Connexions and the Youth Offending Team (YOT).

The council has also worked with local partners to secure substantial amounts of external funding through the European Social Fund (ESF)/Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) Black Country IMPACT project, Headstart, and Individual Placement Support (IPS).

Tailored support is being provided through Talent Match Black Country, supported internships, Wolverhampton Business Champions, and the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC).

  • released: Wednesday 30 November, 2016