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Issue: July at  25 July 2013

Tacking youth unemployment across Liverpool City Region

A review into the support available to help young people into work across Liverpool City Region has been completed. The review findings were endorsed at the City Region Cabinet meeting on Friday, 19 July 2013.

The review was commissioned by the Liverpool City Region's Employment and Skills Board, agreed with the Government through the Liverpool City Region Deal, due to the high levels of youth unemployment in the Liverpool City Region in early 2012. At this time, the number of young people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance for more than 6 months remained high at 7,170.

The Board committed to halve the level of long term youth unemployment within three years; from 7,170 in March 2012 to 3,585 in March 2015. After just 1 year, the City Region has achieved a 34% reduction in long tem youth unemployment, a reduction of 1,205 claimants.

As part of the review, the Youth Unemployment Task Force, made up of young people and businesses in the region, was established to understand the issues and suggest ways to address them.

Key findings from the review were:-

The majority of young people (94%) seek employment via the internet, with newspaper advertising the 2nd most popular choice (47%).

75% of business survey respondents stated they had employed somebody aged 18 to 24 in the last 2 years; 62% stated it was to grow their existing workforce and 56% to create skills that will help businesses plan for replacement demand.

72% of businesses stated that they were looking to employ a young person in the next 2 years.

A lack of training, qualifications and work experience were barriers to employment for young people.

Preparation for work needs to start early in school with in depth, relevant careers advice with appropriate work experience placements.

Following the review, an action plan has been developed which is progressing a number of key findings. This includes maximising Talent Match; a national investment of up to £100 million over five years to deliver creative ways to help long-term unemployed young people find work or start their own enterprise; creating more work experience opportunities, businesses to have a more prominent role in careers education, review financial incentives through reinvesting savings and removing restrictions and limitations which discourage career development and growth.

Stephen Roberts, Vice Chair of the Employment and Skills Board said:- "Youth unemployment has a significant effect on our communities. The work of the Task Force has already delivered improvements, which we will now continue to build on. We are on target to achieve our pledge of halving youth unemployment across the City Region, which has been possible due to listening to and acting upon the views and experiences of young people and business across the City Region."

Cllr Pat Hackett, Cabinet Member for the Economy at Wirral Council, said:- "It is vital to support our young people and help them to get a foothold in the labour market. The commissioning of the Task Force was an innovative and bold move by the Employment and Skills Board in directly seeking the views of the region's young people and the businesses who employ them. It has been a pleasure to support them, and indeed an eye opener. I would like to personally thank everybody who took part for their time, effort and commitment and for sharing their views and experiences so readily, which at times, as a local Councillor, has been a challenging listen."

Cllr Hackett added:- "This report is only the beginning and now the hard work really begins as we take on board the findings and recommendations to truly make a difference to the lives of young people in our City region."

Sue Riley, District Manager for the Department of Work and Pensions added:- "Throughout the review, we ensured that the views of a cross section of young people and businesses was captured. The results of this review will help to accelerate improvements within the City Region, helping to make a different to the lives of young people and support our businesses to thrive."

"Let us decide on Welsh Streets" - Mayor

THE Mayor of Liverpool is demanding that a decision on the future of the Welsh Streets be decided locally. The City Council's planning committee has approved plans for a £15m regeneration of the area, which will see 150 new high quality homes developed as well as the refurbishment of 37 terraced properties and 280 homes will be demolished. The plans was drawn up after extensive consultation with residents. Following the committee's decision, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued a directive which meant that the planning consent was put on hold until the Secretary of State decides whether to intervene or not. Now the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, is calling on the Minister, Eric Pickles, to let the scheme proceed. He said:- "The local community have said in no uncertain terms what they want in the Welsh Streets and as Mayor I have listened to them in progressing these proposals. They are fed up with constant unnecessary delays which are stopping them having the good quality homes they deserve. There now needs to be certainty for the future. Eric Pickles also has to listen to them and decide that this is a decision which should be made locally by people who know and live in this neighbourhood. For a government which is supposed to champion localism it would be a travesty if this decision was made in Whitehall rather than Liverpool. His own government has even supported this scheme through grant allocations so I can't imagine what reason there is for any further delay. I urge the Secretary of State to stop any further prevarication, listen to the overwhelming local opinion and let the regeneration of the Welsh streets go ahead as soon as possible."

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