Will new scheme help King’s Lynn ‘NEETs’ find a job?
A pilot scheme in which Jobcentres open their doors to more young people is being trialled in West Norfolk.
King’s Lynn is one of just four towns across the country where work coaches will team up with businesses and children’s services, to help unemployed 16 and 17-year-olds find a job.
Currently, only young people claiming benefits can receive help from Jobcentre staff.
The scheme - also being trialled in Hertfordshore, Sheffield and Lewisham - will help the so-called NEETs, young people not in education, employment or training.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “Every young person deserves the best chance in life so they can secure their future.
“Youth unemployment is falling and the economy is growing so we need to make sure every young person gets the help they need to benefit from the improving jobs market. Jobcentre work coaches have a huge amount of expertise, experience and local labour market knowledge, which shouldn’t just be limited to people over 18.”
Jobcentre staff will work in partnership with Norfolk Children’s Services. Young people will be offered work placements, courses and meetings with employers.
Mick Castle, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and schools, said: “By working closely with schools, colleges and training providers we have already achieved significant progress in reducing our NEET figures and ensuring that we are achieving above the national average in the proportion of 16-year-olds accessing training and education.
“We want to ensure that progress continues and this scheme will give Norfolk’s young people access to the further expertise of Jobcentre staff, who have the best knowledge of local recruitment and employment opportunities and can broker work experience and training for our young people.
“We are hopeful that this work will help to further reduce NEET numbers and ensure that young people have further access to the skills and knowledge that can help them to achieve their potential.”