Pilot scheme aims to cut Wandsworth youth unemployment

Work Match (launched last year) is working to find local people jobs in the borough

Work Match (launched last year) is working to find local people jobs in the borough

First published in News
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Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

Employment advisors will be assigned to specific deprived areas of the borough to help find young people employment as part of a pilot scheme dedicated at increasing opportunities for Wandsworth’s youth.

The first pilot will see two dedicated advisors work with up to 60 young people at a time aged between 18 and 24 in Queenstown ward.

The area includes the Nine Elms multi-billion pound regeneration site as well as small pockets of extreme deprivation.

Currently there are about 80 young people receiving job seekers allowance in Queenstown and more who are unemployed but not claiming benefits.

If the pilot is successful in lowering youth unemployment here it could expand to other areas.

Last year Wandsworth Council launched the Work Match recruitment service to try and improve access for young people to new jobs being created in the borough.

It is hoped the pilot scheme will compliment this work.

Councillor Ravi Govinida, leader of the council, said: "Queenstown is home to the Nine Elms regeneration programme which is starting to generate a steady supply of jobs, apprenticeships and training roles.

"But some local young people lack the confidence, motivation or basic skills to secure these opportunities. They have the potential to succeed but there are real barriers preventing them from doing so.

"Through this new initiative we will provide intensive support to the young people of Queenstown. Focussing our efforts on such a defined segment of our community means we can work with them on an individual basis and address the specific issues which prevent them from getting a foothold in the jobs market.

"Some of these issues will take time to address. They may have a difficult home environment, poor language skills or low self esteem. Working closely with our partners we will attempt to solve these problems and clear the way to sustainable employment.

"Six months ago the council established the Work Match jobs brokerage team which is now linking out-of-work local people to new jobs in Nine Elms and elsewhere in the borough. This new pilot scheme could offer another route into work for the young people who need our help most."

The pilot scheme is expected to cost £200,000 over two years.

Figures released by the National Office of Statistics show the number of people in Wandsworth claiming job seekers allowance fell by more than 20 per cent between December 2012 and December 2013.

Wandsworth now has the second lowest unemployment rate for an inner London borough at 2.2 per cent.

To find out about how Work Match can help you into employment or training call 0208 871 5191 or email wandsworthworkmatch@wandsworth.gov.uk

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