West Midlands launches ambitious pilot to get young people into work

A new approach to reducing youth unemployment in the West Midlands has been launched at Downing Street today.

The pilot Transition to Work scheme, a collaboration between the Government, employers, community organisations and public bodies including West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), aims to create a sustainable pipeline of young talent in the region.

The project has a number of partners including Accenture, Movement to Work, UnLtd, O2, Youth Employment UK and the WMCA with support from the Cabinet Office and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

West Midlands launches ambitious pilot to get young people into work

Movement to Work is a collaboration of Britain’s leading employers supporting unemployed young people into jobs or further education or training.

Andy Street, the Mayor of West Midlands, has committed his support to improving social mobility, skills development and job creation.

He said: “The West Midlands is experiencing significant economic growth, with record levels of job creation across the region.

"However, levels of youth unemployment remain high – which is why getting more young people into good jobs is one of our key priorities.

“Movement to Work has already made a positive impact for young people in London, so I’m delighted to welcome them to the West Midlands, where they will support our efforts to create a thriving and inclusive economy where more young people can get the training and skills they need to get good jobs and careers.”

More than 800,000 young people are currently not in education, employment or training.

The West Midlands pilot is designed to better reach this group by breaking down barriers that exist between organisations.

Young people will co-lead the design, development, governance and delivery of the pilot.

The project will take a 'local first' approach to closing gaps in provision, by connecting, amplifying and building on the innovative projects that already exist in the West Midlands.

The meeting at Downing Street today (Wednesday July 11) is part of the Inclusive Economy Partnership, which brings together business, civil society and government to help address major societal challenges facing those on low to middle incomes.

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for Productivity and Skills, said: “This pilot is designed to help the region’s young people find job opportunities that may otherwise have seemed out of reach. It’s just one of the ways we’re helping, and will work alongside our other projects and partnerships.

“We’re happy that the West Midlands is leading the way with this innovative project, and we hope to set a blueprint for the rest of the UK when it comes to supporting young people into work.”

Movement to Work is a collaboration of Britain’s leading employers. Founders include Accenture, BAE Systems, Barclays, BT, Centrica, the Civil Service, Diageo, HSBC, M&S, Tesco, Unilever, and WPP.

It aims to support unemployed young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, into jobs or further education or training.

It does this by providing high-quality vocational training and work experience opportunities to young people aged 16-24.

Of the 70,000 young people completing Movement to Work placements, more than 50% have moved into paid employment, apprenticeships or further study.

Ivan Menezes, chairman of Movement to Work said: “Youth unemployment remains a scandalous waste of talent in the UK.

"As employers, we are determined to do our bit to tackle this issue, but we can’t do it alone. It will take the joint effort of business, government, civil society and the young people themselves to make a real difference.

“This pilot is an innovative new initiative to foster greater collaboration and to put renewed energy into addressing youth unemployment. We encourage all organisations and individuals with an interest in taking on this issue to join us.”

Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO, Youth Employment UK said: “Youth Employment UK is delighted to be working on this project.

"As a youth-led organisation we believe collaboration is key to reducing youth unemployment.

"In order for all young people to fulfil their potential we must work in partnership to create a genuinely youth-friendly UK. Working on this project with so many like-minded organisations has the potential to create a real step change.”

A video about the Inclusive Economy Partnership can be found here.

For more details on Movement To work visit www.movementtowork.com

For more information on the programme and how to get involved, please contact West Midlands Pilot lead Ikram Wadud at Ikramul.wadud@accenture.com

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