Future Jobs programme creates 138 jobs in Kirklees
Jan 18 2010 by Henryk Zientek, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
ALMOST 140 jobs have been created in Kirklees – thanks to a national programme being run across the district.
Since the start of October, Kirklees Council has been working with Jobcentre Plus to recruit candidates to new grant-supported jobs under the government’s Future Jobs Fund.
Some 60% of the new roles in the district are going to long-term unemployed people aged between 18 and 24.
The council has targeted that age group following “alarming” results from an employer survey showing that six out of 10 companies in Kirklees fails to employ anyone under the age of 25.
The Future Jobs Fund also targets people over the age of 24 living in unemployment “hotspots” – highlighted as the old council wards of Batley West, Birkby, Crosland Moor, Dalton, Deighton, Dewsbury East, Dewsbury West, Newsome and Paddock.
Some 138 new positions have been created by 14 different organisations, including Huddersfield University, Kirklees Active Leisure, Deighton-based community organisation Fresh Horizons and drugs and alcohol treatment service Lifeline.
The new roles include ones in office work, childcare, construction and horticulture.
Kirklees Council has recruited a handful of young people but is facing the prospect of having to cut hundreds of jobs because of expected Government cuts in funding.
Another requirement of the programme is that the new jobs must benefit the wider community.
Kirklees Council expects to receive an extension of the contract for the Future Jobs Fund until March, 2011.
That will enable the council and its partners to bring the total number of posts to 350 over the course of the whole programme – representing a total investment of more than £2.2m.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “The Future Jobs Fund programme is giving local people the chance to gain valuable experience in a real work setting.
“All positions are for at least 25 hours a week, pay the National Minimum Wage or more and are real jobs rather than training courses or placements.
“All those successful have been out of work for a considerable length of time so this opportunity is as much about giving back self-respect and confidence as it is about boosting CVs.”
Clr Khan said he was pleased that Kirklees had become the first authority in West Yorkshire secure funding for the Future Jobs programme.
Gill Farnsworth, Jobcentre Plus regional director, said: “The Government is working with partners such as Kirklees Council, as part of the Backing Young Britain campaign, to create thousands of job opportunities for young people. It is vital young people get a foot on the career ladder and no one is written off.
“Nationally, so far the number of jobs created is 98,000. Jobcentre Plus in West Yorkshire has been working hard to ensure the recruitment process for the Future Jobs Fund vacancies is as smooth as possible”.