New Solihull Youth Hub gives young people access to training and career opportunities

Young jobseekers from across Solihull are now able to access improved employment support and opportunities in their area thanks to a brand-new Youth Hub.

The new facility offers practical advice and support to young people aged 16-29 who are leaving school, college or university, unemployed or at risk of losing their job.

This is one of eight Youth Hubs being set up in the region as part of the Youth Offer that the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has developed with Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, the voluntary sector and local employers.

New Solihull Youth Hub gives young people access to training and career opportunities

The Mayor, Cllr Ian Courts and partners cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of Solihull Youth Hub

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA and Cllr Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, were on hand to officially open the borough’s Youth Hub giving young people help with managing their finances as well as support on mental and emotional well-being.

The Youth Hub shares spaces with partners including colleges, charities, training providers and Solihull Council, meaning people can access a range of services in one location.

The Mayor said: “I was so pleased to be there in person to celebrate the opening of the Solihull Youth Hub.

“Working together in close collaboration with partners like Solihull Council and the DWP – and drawing in major local employers such as JLR and Birmingham Airport – this new, friendly, and accessible space will change lives by providing opportunities for young people right here in Chelmsley Wood and across the borough.

“Young people were amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic, which is why it’s vital we help them find work as part of my 100k Mayoral jobs plan. Youth Hubs have a key part to play in this plan, and I would strongly encourage people to take advantage of this brilliant new facility and the support, advice and guidance on offer to help provide a pathway into work.”

The new Youth Hub is part of the Solihull Recruitment and Training Centre (SRTC) which was set up in 2019 and has been an important venue to help residents secure work.

Since re-opening to the public in 2021 the team has supported over 200 unemployed young people, with 90 already securing employment or training.

Tom Mallinson, from Solihull, said: “I was previously on universal credit and wasn’t sure of my career options until I came across the Kick-start scheme through the Solihull Recruitment and Training Centre. I was then fortunate enough to have an interview with Solihull Council for the role of a receptionist.

“I felt very lucky to have been given this opportunity and have enjoyed it very much so far which I hope will continue. I have learnt a lot with the help of others, and I am very grateful for everybody who has made me feel so welcome and have helped me grow with confidence. I hope after the six months of my Kick-start I will be able to continue with the council.

“The youth coaches at the Solihull Recruitment and Training Centre have been amazingly supportive with answering my questions and guiding me in the best way possible, focusing on a long-term plan rather than a quick solution. Moving forwards, the Youth Hub will be a brilliant place for people to come to when they aren’t sure of their next steps, just like I was.”

Cllr Courts added: “It’s vital that our young people get the right advice and support to help them into work or training that will allow them to start building a career. 

“We also need them to consider apprenticeships, more education or further training as options, in order to help us build a highly skilled workforce in the West Midlands, so that we can take advantage of the opportunities a more sustainable and greener economy will present.

“I am particularly pleased to see Solihull’s Youth Hub is based in Chelmsley Wood shopping centre as youth unemployment and lack of training in this part of the borough is a longstanding concern for me and the council.”

The new facility forms part of the Department for Work and Pensions wider support for young jobseekers which will see them appear all across the UK in a range of settings ensuring those in need get the support they need. 

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

This is a crucial part of the WMCA’s plan to drive the region’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by equipping young people with the skills they need to land jobs in growth sectors.

Click here to find out what support is available through the Solihull Youth Hub to help young people gain access to work and training opportunities.