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Burnley leads the way in job support for young people

Release date: 
Friday, 21 May, 2021

Lancashire’s first face-to-face Youth Hub has opened in Burnley, giving unemployed youngsters the tailored support they need to get a job, thanks to a brand-new partnership between Jobcentre Plus and Burnley Council.

The hub, known as Thrive, is based at the offices of the Calico Group in Croft Street and will give 16-24-year-olds appointments with specialist youth employability coaches, who can help them learn and develop new skills to help them into work. They will also support their health and wellbeing needs to build resilience.

Thrive has been established as part of Burnley Together, a community partnership involving public, private and voluntary groups to provide local residents with a wide range of services.

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One of Burnley Together’s main priorities is to address rising unemployment levels and to support young people to fully participate in the workforce by creating the conditions to support them and the local businesses to recover, and ensure that locally there is the skills, knowledge and infrastructure to respond to opportunities.

Burnley Council, one of the partners in Burnley Together, has drawn up a number of strategic interventions, both short and long term, to achieve that aim, including the establishment of a youth and skills hub to ensure young people have a single point of access to a range of support.

Councillor Asif Raja, the council’s executive member for economy and growth, said: “Offering support to our young people to help them find training and employment is a top priority, especially given the effects of Covid on our local economy and businesses. Young people have been among the hardest hit in terms of employment prospects and Thrive will play a vital role in getting them back into work and providing a brighter future. Thrive is a key part of the council's economic and community recovery plans agreed last year.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), another key partner in Thrive, will have two specialist Youth Employability Coaches based at the Youth Hub.

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, said: “By rolling out our DWP Youth Hubs across local communities like this one in Burnley, means young people will, importantly, 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 to boost confidence or focused help to assist them to move into employment.

“This is a challenging time and we are serious about investing in our young people as we get Britain back working again and moving further into recovery. That’s why, as part of our enhanced 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.”

Phil Jones, director of new service for the Calico Group, said: “Over the past year we’ve seen that when people and local business come together we can have a massive impact in our community. Thrive represents a real commitment to ensure that young people will benefit from the necessary skills and experience to get a foot on the employment ladder.”

Other partners from organisations such as The Princes Trust, Lancashire Women, Burnley Football Club in the Community and Burnley College will join the DWP team shortly and will offer appointments and sessions in the hub.

This will bring together key services to support the young people of Burnley to acquire skills, confidence, and progression opportunities to enable participation in the workforce through schemes such as Kickstart, Restart and Apprenticeships as well as accessing careers support, guidance and advice on further education options.

Additionally, employability support, together with outreach and community work across the borough, will be available to improve, integrate and reduce social inclusion and work towards increasing skills, overcoming barriers, and building aspirations for local young people.

The name Thrive was created by a diverse range of young people who formed a youth focus panel and were involved in the design and creation of the name and brand. The theme is around there being no limits and allowing someone to thrive no matter what their circumstances.

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