Date: 17/10/2012 Category: Economic Development
A £1million investment in jobs and more apprenticeship opportunities for people in Medway have been announced by Medway Council.
Medway Council has launched a project that will see £1million invested in helping long term unemployed people hold down jobs in Medway over the next three years.
The European project, IMPRESS, is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg IVA project and funding secured by the council from central government, helping people who have found work, stay in work. This includes one to one job coaches and access to NVQ training to help with career progression.
The initiative was announced as part of an employment and skills day held in Medway on Thursday, 11 October, which included a Construction Expo, with business exhibitors from across the southeast and a Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair in Chatham, which attracted around 1,700 visitors.
Speaking at the Jobs Fair held at The Brook Theatre, Cllr Chitty also announced a further commitment to apprentices in Medway, with plans to subsidise 20 apprenticeships in partnership with Jobcentre Plus in the next three months.
The council has already run a series of apprenticeships schemes over the past two years, including a national challenge to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days and the GAPS project - an investment of £200,000 in addition to £140,000 worth of EU fund - offering a £2,000 subsidy to help firms cover the training or wage costs of an apprentice. Together, they have helped create more than 200 apprenticeships at around 150 Medway businesses.
The new plans announced by Cllr Chitty will see the council teaming up with Jobcentre Plus to offer 20 people, who have been unemployed for between 3 to 9 months, an apprenticeship.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, Cllr Jane Chitty, said: “We have once again managed to lever in a significant amount of money to plough back into our economy here in Medway, to help hundreds of people not only find work, but also stay in work.
“We already have a range of successful measures to help people find work or training and what’s crucial about this new project is it means we are doing what we can to sustain this – helping people find jobs that they can develop in as professionals.
“Our commitment to apprenticeships in Medway has been widely documented, with hundreds of thousands invested in securing that all important first opportunity for a young person and it’s important that we continue this and invest where we can.”
Sue Harrison, Partnership Manager for Medway Jobcentre Plus, said: "It was great to see so many local businesses and training providers at the event last week.
"Jobseekers were able to speak to employers directly about the kind of jobs available.
"We are always looking at ways to not only help people find work, but also, crucially, to stay in work and gain opportunities to train, develop and progress.
"This new partnership between the council and Jobcentre Plus to give jobseekers the chance to train through an apprenticeship will not only entice businesses, with the potential of a subsidy, but also help more people take they first steps to a future career."