Youth Contract scheme brings hope for new jobs in East Lancashire
6:00pm Tuesday 3rd April 2012 in News
A SCHEME to tackle youth unemployment has been welcomed by employers in East Lancashire.
The Government is ploughing £1billion into the Youth Contract, which nationally will see 250,000 18 to 24-year-olds offered work experience placements lasting up to eight weeks.
Linda Peel, manager of Darwen Job Centre, said she hopes to get at least 70 young people in the town to take part this year.
She said: “Work experience can lead to a permanent paid job, and we have witnessed many examples of this locally but, just as importantly, it can give people who have never worked or have no qualifications their first experience of an workplace.”
The Youth Contract includes 160,000 wage incentives worth more than £2,275 for each 18 to 24-year-old an employer recruits.
Tracey Ashworth, advice centre manager for the Debt Advice Foundation in Commercial Road, Darwen, is supporting the new scheme, having taken on three people for work experience in the past year.
She said: “Of the three people we’ve recently had on work experience, two of them have gone on to get another job, and we’re hoping to take on the third ourselves when money is in place.
“It’s win-win because the young person gets valid work experience and the chance of getting a job, and the employer can put someone tried and tested into a position when one comes up.”
Stephen Brine, 20, of Olive Lane, Darwen, has been given a bartending job at The Bridgewater Pub in Darwen, having completed work experience over the Christmas and New Year Period.
He said: “This has helped me find a job when I was struggling. I think the scheme will encourage people to try jobs that they might not have previously given a second thought.”