570 people helped back into work by Change scheme
THE only way is up!
A jobs lifeline has been thrown to more than 570 people during the Change programme's first year.
The gateway to job opportunities has been provided to North East Lincolnshire people who were receiving out-of-work benefits.
It was created to assist those who need help the most, back into employment.
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Employers have also been advised how to create new jobs and work opportunities through a wage subsidy scheme and apprenticeship grant scheme.
A total of 573 unemployed people have so far been helped back into work.
One lucky teenager is already on the road to a new career thanks to an apprenticeship with Signs Express in Gilbey Road, Grimsby.
Angelique Ellis, 18, hopes to become a personal assistant after starting her apprenticeship thanks to the Change programme.
She is one of seven apprentices who are now in post.
The former Franklin College student, who earns £120 a week, said: "I was really lucky to get one so quickly in October.
"I am enjoying it and working towards a technical certificate. Eventually I want to be a PA or work my way up through the company."
Two more apprentices are due to start this month.
The news came as the number of job vacancies at the JobCentre stood at 568, with 2,125 people between 18 and 24 years claiming the Jobseekers Allowance.
In total, 120 places have been allocated to 14 training providers who are now recruiting businesses for the placements.
The positive moves come as the Government announced several new schemes to be launched in the spring to combat unemployment.
In the seven months the Changeworks wage subsidy scheme has been running, 33 people have been placed into newly created jobs with several more starts due later this month.
Changeworks was devised by North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC), working in partnership with JobCentre Plus, and is aimed at businesses who would like to employ an additional member of staff to allow them to take on more work, but have been hesitant to do this due to the financial commitment.
It is also currently offering an apprenticeship grant of £2,500 to employers, which can be used to subsidise a new apprentice's pay for the first year.
The apprenticeship scheme is aimed specifically at unemployed 16 to 18-year-olds to help them to access work and it gives them a chance to learn and develop valuable, transferable skills for their working life.
One contract delivered under the Change programme is the Building Skills For Life project, which provides supported paid work opportunities to unemployed local people for up to six months.
The contract is successfully delivered through Shoreline Housing, which works in partnership with Contract Lincs, one of two agencies which deliver the Building Skills For Life programme.
North East Lincolnshire Council leader and portfolio holder for finance and regeneration Councillor Chris Shaw said: "By offering a financial incentive for the first year we can offer some support to businesses to take on additional staff.
"These schemes also provide additional jobs for residents to access and give a starting block for a young person to develop a successful career.
"The fact that we have helped over 500 people into employment demonstrates the success of the Change programme as well as the strength of our adaptable local labour force.
"A lot of these individuals will have been long-term unemployed, which makes it even tougher for them in a competitive job market, so we are working hard to create opportunities for our local people to find work."
For further information or apply for funding visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/change works
Firms looking for budding apprentices can call Matthew Head on 01472 323719 or 07718 193203 or e-mail him at Matthew.email@example.com
For more information about either of the schemes call the Change team on 01472 326142.
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