Plans to tackle youth unemployment are being drawn up by Derbyshire County Council to get more young people into work, further education or training.
While the number of 16-17-year-olds without a job, in education or training fell slightly this year, figures from May show around a third (2,675) of Derbyshire’s unemployed are aged 18-24 – which is higher than the national average.
Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “We want to build a strong economy in Derbyshire and provide a brighter future for our young people – and that means making sure we have a skilled and confident workforce.
“We offer a wide range of support for young people but we need to look at why youth employment is so high and find new ways to getting more young people into jobs. We’re working with employers to make sure local youngsters are equipped with the skills they need to work in Derbyshire’s economy and we’re asking what employers need to create jobs and grow their businesses – such as Global Derbyshire grants to help small businesses develop and create employment opportunities.
“We’re also looking at streamlining our own services, improving the way we work with partner organisations and working more closely with schools, colleges and training providers to ensure they can meet demand.”
The county council has begun drawing up a Young People’s Strategy for Employment and Skills to look at the support the council currently provides to young people and improve the way it works with other organisations to boost employment, education and training opportunities.
A task force made up of representatives from across the council will be set-up to develop and improve support for young people.
Areas for improvement include better co-ordination among council services, more independent careers education, information advice and guidance in schools, raising awareness of apprenticeships and training as an alternative to education and better links between businesses and schools.
Councillor Dixon added: “There are some excellent examples in Derbyshire of schools, colleges, employers and others preparing young people for work.
“This task force will help drive improvement across the county and make sure that we’re doing all we can to provide all our young people with the skills they need to become the workforce of tomorrow.”