£50m project to tackle unemployment in West Midlands

A £50 million project has been launched to tackle youth unemployment in the West Midlands, with the aim of getting 16,000 young people into work.

The Youth Promise Plus project will focus on linking under 30 year-olds with job opportunities and training, in the hopes of reducing Birmingham’s unemployment rate which, although falling in recent years, still sits at 8.8 per cent, the highest among major UK cities.

The project will be delivered over three years with £33 million funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) through its Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund.

Penny Holbrook, Birmingham City Council's cabinet member for skills, said: "This is a massive coup for Birmingham. It is a sign of confidence in our ability to deal with youth employment.

"It shows the great partnership working we have in place with the DWP and everyone’s commitment to ensuring we tackle youth unemployment.

“The only way we can solve this problem and ensure the young people of Birmingham benefit from the growing economy is by working together as partners and a whole city.

“Youth Promise Plus delivered through DWP and ESIF funding is a key part of our strategy to reduce unemployment, train young people in the skills of the future and support the economy of Birmingham with a high skills level.”