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Young people provided with vital employment support in Sandwell

todayMarch 12, 2021

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A new youth hub at Sandwell College is offering practical advice and support to young people aged 16-29 who are unemployed, at risk of losing their job, or leaving school, college or university.

This is one of six Youth Hubs being set up in the region as part of the ‘Youth Offer’ that the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has developed with Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, the voluntary sector and local employers.

The hub brings together partners to join up local employment and training services, so that young people can gain the support they need in one place to access jobs and skills opportunities.

Young people will benefit from services including advice from work coaches, links with local employers, training opportunities such as apprenticeships, tips on managing money, and retraining support. The hub will provide virtual support while the college buildings are closed during the national lockdown.

Madison Clark, aged 19, from West Bromwich, said: “I left college last year, and there weren’t many job opportunities because of the pandemic, so I had to go onto Universal Credit.

“I was able to land my first job, a temporary Christmas job in a department store, with my work coaches’ support. I’m now starting a Higher Employability Programme thanks to the advice I’ve had. 

“The youth coaches at Sandwell Youth Hub have been amazingly supportive with answering my questions and guiding me in the best way possible, focusing on a long-term plan rather than a quick solution.”

Youth Hubs are part of the following Youth Offer that the WMCA has developed with Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, the voluntary sector and local employers to provide:

  • Free careers advice
  • Access to vocational training – with a focus on training that leads to jobs
  • Hundreds more dedicated Jobcentre Plus work coaches
  • Access to funded work placements through the Government’s Kickstart scheme
  • Access to apprenticeships
  • More support to become self-employed

This is a crucial part of the WMCA’s plan to drive the region’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by equipping young people with the skills they need to land jobs in growth sectors.

Alison Newell, DWP service leader, Black Country district, said: “Giving young people skills training is vital in helping them to compete for the jobs that will be on offer, and this is why Sandwell Youth Hub is so important. The hub will be both a drop-in and a digital service for all our young people who need to access support.”

Click here to find out what support is available through Sandwell Youth Hub to help young people gain access to work and training opportunities.

 

Written by: David Watkins

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