28th Jun, 2022

Hundreds of employment coaches recruited to help West Midlands get back to work

HUNDREDS of work coaches are being recruited to get the West Midlands back to work.

The move aims to boost employment in the region as part of a new package of support focused on training and re-skilling jobseekers.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Department for Work and Pensions are joining forces to provide targeted support to match jobseekers with vacancies, ensuring they have the skills to meet local demand as businesses reopen.

Vacancies for 300 work coaches are due to go live over the coming days – with local people encouraged to apply for roles.

The new work coaches will give claimants localised and tailored support to help them move into work, with services delivered through local jobcentres and outreach activities.

The WMCA will be using its £130million training budget to make sure local people have the skills needed to secure new roles.

The DWP and the Combined Authority will allocate up to £4million through the Flexible Support Fund, to help overcome barriers that may prevent people from returning to work quickly.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Jobs are at the heart of the West Midlands’ plan to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, and we must do everything we can to either keep people in work or help to those who fall out get back in as fast as feasibly possible. This is particularly important for young people.

“By matching jobseekers to vacancies, helping people to improve their skills through specialist training, and offering tailored support; work coaches and the newly announced Youth Hubs will help to achieve exactly that.

“This announcement builds on the already great work going on across our jobcentres across the West Midlands, which are helping to support our unemployed get back into work.”

As part of the West Midlands offer, six Youth Hubs will be set up in local areas, helping to join up local employment and training services and make sure that these are targeting young people.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We’ve been there for people who have lost jobs or have reduced hours in this pandemic, helping them support their families by promptly processing new claims and getting money into the accounts of those in urgent need within days.

“Now we’re switching our focus to getting Britain back to work. To do that, we need more dedicated people to join us as work coaches and move to the frontline of our national effort to revive our jobs market.

“To do so, we’ll need partnerships exactly like this one to help us get the right support to people – in this instance, support that’s right for the people of the West Midlands and the jobs market that’s here.”

Coun George Duggins, WMCA skills and productivity spokesman and head of Coventry City Council, said: “Many people, especially young people, have been affected by the economic impact of the pandemic, working in sectors that have been badly hit.

“Introducing work coaches will not only create more jobs, it will help to get more people back into work.”

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