Young people in the City of Wolverhampton are set to benefit from more jobs and opportunities thanks to Wolves at Work partnering with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on a new taskforce.
Launched by City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield, and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, the Youth Opportunities Taskforce will build on the success of Wolves at Work initiatives that have helped more than 5,000 city residents into employment.
Funding from the council and the WMCA will enable Wolves at Work coaches to broaden their social value work with employers in the city to provide further opportunities for local young people through jobs, apprenticeships, in-work support and upskilling. This will include more support through the WMCA’s Construction Gateway – which is helping more local people get into good construction jobs.
L-R City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Cllr Ian Brookfield, WMCA Head of Skills Delivery, Clare Hatton, WMCA Director of Productivity and Skills, Julie Nugent, and Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, plus, in hi-vis vests, Construction Gateway participants Adam Cain, 30, and Victoria Hinton, 22, who are being supported by Wolves at Work at City of Wolverhampton College
Around 45 per cent of those gaining employment with the 600 businesses committed to Wolves at Work are aged 18 to 29.
The new partnership is part of a regional taskforce to be chaired by Cllr Brookfield, who is the WMCA portfolio holder for economic growth, with a specific focus on improving opportunities for young unemployed people across the region.
Its members will include City of Wolverhampton Council, Department for Work and Pensions, the WMCA, the Young Combined Authority, the Prince’s Trust and other organisations that support young people.
Cllr Brookfield said: “Wolves at Work has successfully delivered a number of opportunities for young people through its social value work with partners in the construction industry – and this new partnership with the WMCA will enable us to use that experience and broaden it out to other sectors.
“We know lots of young people want to work but don’t have access to these new opportunities. The taskforce will play a vital role in providing more targeted and sustainable support.
“There is £4.4 billion of investment on site or in the pipeline in the City of Wolverhampton and it’s important that local people benefit from this economic growth and the jobs being generated.”
Mayor Andy Street added: “It is essential that we tackle youth unemployment, but we can only do this by making sure we are teaching our young people the skills employers need across the region. At the WMCA that is exactly what we are trying to do by designing new training programmes and working with further education colleges and local providers across the West Midlands.
“The Youth Opportunities Taskforce will help do exactly this and build on the success of schemes like the WMCA’s Construction Gateway, which gives unemployed people the skills and experience they need to be site-ready for work with a guaranteed job interview.”
The taskforce will oversee a package of support to include: