Working alongside Job Centre Plus, the Burnley Together partners have launched a hub to help young people whose job and training prospects have been devastated by the pandemic, and are calling for local businesses to do what they can to protect the future of the town’s next generation.
The new Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub is targeted at 16-24 year olds who are expected to experience job losses, redundancies and reduced employment opportunities, with the impact of Covid set to hit hardest in and around Burnley.
Centre for Cities have identified that roughly 70% of roles in Burnley and Pendle will be classed as ‘affected’, ‘vulnerable’ or ‘very vulnerable’, and in particular: hospitality, leisure, retail and engineering – those careers most commonly of interest to our younger people.
Burnley’s new Youth Employment and Skills hub will coordinate with local organisations to ensure young people still have access to training or job opportunities – with a personalised, coaching approach for each individual and a real focus on supporting younger people’s physical and mental health, to help build resilience during this uncertain time.
They will also be involved in signposting young people onto the new Kickstart schemes that are being set up in the town with Government funding for to employers to create job placements for local 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.
The launch of the Youth Hub and new Kickstart schemes are the first of several measures that the Burnley Together, the DWP, and partners will be introducing over coming months as part of a joined-up effort to supporting local young people who are struggling.
Announcing the initiative, Leader of the Council, Councillor Mark Townsend said,
“We want to do our bit to make sure that Burnley does not have a so-called ‘lost generation’ because of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. This initiative is part of our wider plans to make sure that our borough bounces back from the pandemic as quickly as possible.”
Philip Jones, Director of New Services for The Calico Group, added,
“Over the past moths, we have been proud to see Burnley businesses, large and small, pulling together for the good of our town. Taking the steps to ensure that our young people are supported, encouraged, and guided through their next steps into employment now is vital for our community and critical for the future of our local economy. As local employers who have gained so much from working in Burnley, it’s our responsibility to ensure the next generation have the opportunities they deserve.”
Fran Starkie, Partnership Manager for Cumbria and Lancashire Work and Health Services DWP said,
“It is critical that we do not allow Covid to define the futures of Burnley’s young people as they take the first steps towards their careers. Working alongside Burnley Together on the Youth Hub project, DWP’s employer advisors and work coaches will be able to provide tailored support and coaching in a neutral space by sharing their expertise and knowledge, and signposting to the wide range of opportunities offered by our employers, training providers and partner organisations.”
Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, welcomed the initiative, saying,
“By rolling out Youth Hubs across local communities like this one in Burnley, young people will be able to access vital, suitable support from our Work Coaches in a range of settings helping to match them with local opportunities whether it’s more training or to help them move into employment.
“This is a challenging time and we are serious about investing in young people as we get Britain back working again and moving further into recovery. That’s why, as part of our Youth Offer, we are also injecting £2 billion into the DWP Kickstart scheme, creating new, subsidised, high-quality roles for under 25s as we continue our work to protect, support and create jobs.”
The Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub can be accesses by contacting Burnley Together on 01282 686 402, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by referral from the DWP.
Employers who would like be involved in providing placements through the Kickstarter scheme, or would like to support the wider Burley Together local youth employment initiatives, can also get in touch on the number above.
Burnley Together was established by official partners including Burnley Council, The Calico Group, Burnley FC in the Community, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntarily Service, Lancashire County Council and Burnley Leisure Trust.
The new service adds to the wide range of community support already being delivered through the partnership, which includes: providing food parcels to people most in need, providing mental health support, helping to prevent loneliness, and advising with debt, housing and financial concerns.