Lewisham job centre initiative to help unemployed teenagers

Jobcentre Plus. Photo: Emma Myers

Jobcentre Plus. Photo: Emma Myers

Lewisham Council has launched a new initiative with Jobcentre Plus to give 16 to 17-year-olds their own work coach in a bid to tackle youth unemployment.

The initiative, ‘Helping People Find and Stay in Work’ could help hundreds of young people into work.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “For the first time 16 and 17-year-olds who need help to find work or training will have access to Jobcentres where they will get tailored support from a work coach.”

The support on offer will include work experience, work taster courses, pre-apprenticeship support and meetings with potential employers to get a window into the job market.

The trained work coaches will help young people navigate the wide array of services on offer and tap into local employment and training opportunities.

Minister for employment Esther McVey said: “Jobcentre work coaches have a huge amount of expertise, experience and local labour market knowledge, and we want to use that to help young people get their foot in the door to the career they want.”

Youth unemployment has been falling in the UK during the past 8 months. In the last 3 months the number fell by 48,000.

McVey said: “As part of the government’s long-term economic plan we need to make sure every young person gets the help they need to benefit from the improving jobs market.”

Clegg added: “Every young person deserves the best chance in life so they can secure their future”.

The scheme has launched in Lewisham, Norfolk, Hertfordshire and Sheffield and will rolled out across England if successful.

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