With young people facing increasing challenges in finding employment opportunities the Council is taking positive steps to help by launching an action plan to deliver on six key cross-service pledges.
Speaking after today’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Chairman Ian Ross said: "As a Council we are committed to young people and are being proactive in how we provide support. Today we approved a six point action plan that clearly lays out how we will deliver on the pledges we have to help young people get off benefits and into work.
“The transition from school to the working world can be daunting so we want to make sure young people have the necessary skills and support to take this first critical step. Our six point Action Plan will allow a focussed approach that will bring together all our services and target resources effectively. ”
At part of the initiative, The Council, supported through the European Social Fund, is pleased to launch the Employ Grants Scheme to encourage and support businesses in the creation of additional posts for unemployed people including people in receipt of benefits, returners to the labour market, disabled people and young people.
Targeted at businesses employing fewer than 250 people, a grant of up to £150 per week is available as a wage subsidy for 6 months, or up to a year towards recruiting aged 16-19 year olds, to create additional and permanent posts.
Businesses in all sectors of industry located within The Highland Council area are eligible and may be private companies, co-operatives or social enterprises.
Councillor Ian Ross added: “In these economically challenging times our young people are having a particularly hard time getting work so the Council is pleased to use its own resources to leaver in and maximise European Funding to support businesses in creating new jobs. We have already had a number of enquiries from businesses looking for support of this kind and it is hoped that up to 190 jobs can be created within the Council area which otherwise would not have been available to young people.”
Employ grants is part of a wider project Create and Employ being supported by the Council. Create which will be delivered by the Business Gateway, will provide free personalised advisory service which will address all employability and employment law matters to enable employers or potential employers to consider their capacity to employ, to prepare for recruitment and to find the right people to help them grow their business.
Further Information on Employ Grants is available from the Council’s Employability Team on 01463 702912, e-mail: Employability@highland.gov.uk or at www.highland.gov.uk/employgrants
Further information on ‘Create’ is available from the Business Gateway on 01463 713889
The Highland Council Commitment to
Youth Employment Action Plan January 2012
- The Council will ensure all young people, starting with those in secondary school, will receive the information, guidance and advice they require to enable them to make informed choices on the training and employment options open to them.
- The Council will provide training and work experience directly itself, via employers and 3rd sector organisations to help young people to make informed choices on the training and employment options open to them and for some to get their first critical experience of the world of work.
- The Council will create youth specific trainee and permanent jobs across a wide range of occupations and locations throughout Highland.
- The Council will encourage employers and developers to provide opportunities for young people through its use of grant and loan finance, the Business Gateway advisory service and promotion of corporate responsibility.
- The Council will require suppliers and contractors to provide training, work experience and jobs for young people through its purchase of goods and services.
- Further to its adoption of the principles of the Family Firm approach, the Council will provide a planned, coherent and individualised approach to post school transition for young people who have been Looked After.