£100m for tackling youth unemployment

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JOBSEEKERS in Wigan have received a double jobs boost with the town set to benefit from a chunk of a £9.5m grant to help get people back into work.

The Big Lottery Fund today has announced that Greater Manchester will receive the lump sum from Talent Match, its £100m youth unemployment initiative.

The scheme is designed by young people for young people, with the aim of helping those aged 18-24 who are struggling the most to find career opportunities.

Now the fund has awarded the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) £9,554,906 to help local young people who have been unemployed or out of education for at least 12 months.

It isn’t yet known how much Wigan will receive exactly or where it will be channelled but the town will be one of 10 areas to benefit.

Talent Match projects are led by a cross-sector partnership with a key focus on employers, particularly from the private sector, to ensure that it meets local needs and young people are given opportunities get the skills to find employment.

The GMCVO will now use the money to work up local solutions to a nationwide problem that threatens serious consequences for an entire generation of young people and the wider economy.

The ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment has estimated that the issue will cost £28bn over the next decade.

Nat Sloane, England chairman of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Youth unemployment is an issue that threatens the hopes of an entire generation as well as our whole economic wellbeing.

“Talent Match promises to help the very hardest to reach young people to make the most of their skills and ambitions, not just as an end goal, but by giving them a say in how the programme itself is designed and put into practice.

“The funding announced today is a key step on a very exciting journey as it means the real work can now begin. By bringing together employers and the knowledge of key charities,

“Talent Match will help ensure today’s young people have the maximum help and support they need to find a fulfilling and rewarding career.”

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, over £30bn has been raised and 400,000 grants awarded.

Meanwhile, a new transport project aimed at getting unemployed people back into work through on-the-job training and work experience is proving a success. Jobseekers from across Greater Manchester are expected to graduate from the programme, which is giving access to training, professional qualifications and work experience. The scheme offers two 12-week-long free courses, either to train as an accredited community transport driver or in furniture warehousing.