COVENTRY Youth Hub, which has just celebrated its first anniversary of helping hundreds of young people find training and career opportunities, is seeking more sites across the city expand the scheme.
The hub, at Coventry Job Shop, has offered practical advice and support to 16 to 29-year-olds who are unemployed, at risk of losing their job, or leaving school, college or university.
It is one of eight Youth Hubs in the region developed by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) with Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, the voluntary sector and local employers. They were set up by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and
Coventry City Council working with the WMCA.
Services available include advice from Coventry Job Shop and Jobcentre Plus Work/Job coaches, links with local employers, access to valuable six-month work placements through the Government’s Kickstart scheme and other opportunities such as apprenticeships and full-time study.
The hub brings together partners to join up local employment and training services so young people can gain the support they need in one place to access jobs and skills opportunities.
Coun George Duggins, WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills and leader of Coventry City Council, said: “The project takes employment support services out to young people providing a more integrated approach and is part of the successful Coventry Job Shop which has been supporting unemployed people in the for several years.”
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:
- 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
Coun Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change, added: “This project highlights the importance of the crucial role of the jobs market and we want to ensure that young people in Coventry have every opportunity to access job opportunities.
“It’s about recognising the types of jobs that are available and enabling young people to acquire the necessary skills to take up these opportunities.
“I was very impressed with the Youth Hub team and their achievements so far.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said young people were being hardest hit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of the sectors they work in having been severely affected.
He added they must do everything they could to help young people who had lost their jobs get back to work as quickly as possible as well as those looking for their first employment opportunity.
Helene Dearn, Group Director West Midlands – DWP, said: “Local, tailored support is a huge focus for us and by giving access to Work Coach support in easily accessible locations will support young people boosting their confidence and help them tackle barriers to work.
“Similarly, Coventry Youth Hub will have a vital role in making sure young people have the right skills to compete for the jobs that will be on offer.
“In particular, young people will benefit from advice and support to help them gain placements with local employers through our Kickstart scheme.
“The hub will offer booked appointments, drop-in facilities and a digital service for all our young people who need to access support.”