Hundreds of young people in the West Midlands will benefit from intensive, one-to-one support helping to boost the number in work.
Ten advisers will be based in jobcentres across Coventry and the Black Country, offering a range of advice including interview techniques, help to develop key skills and support to build professional networks.
Working exclusively with young jobseekers from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Youth Employability Advisors will help those facing additional barriers to employment and lacking access to a range of professional and technical roles in the region.
This builds on the West Midlands pilot with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in Birmingham and Solihull, where 1,000 young people have been supported and more than 400 helped into new jobs over the past 18 months.
The scheme was developed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help more young people access local job opportunities as new figures last month saw the overall number in work reach a record high.
The extension of the scheme was announced today by Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, during a visit to the West Midlands, including West Bromwich Jobcentre, where she met Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said: “As the region continues to prosper, it is vital young jobseekers are supported to thrive in fulfilling careers that set them on a path of progression and ignite a passion to succeed.
“Our work with the Mayor is doing just that – helping talented young people unleash their potential as we continue our commitment to levelling up opportunity for all.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “With record levels of investment and job creation, the region’s economy is thriving.
“But not enough young people are being connected to these new opportunities generated by our economic growth, so tackling youth unemployment is a key priority for us.
“It’s great news that we’re able to increase the number of youth employability advisors in the West Midlands. We will continue to work with the Government to secure funding to help more young people get jobs.”
Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills, said: “Through this one-to-one mentoring, young people are getting practical advice to help them make choices about their future.
“Whether it’s going straight into a job or taking up an apprenticeship, further training or education – youth employability advisors enable them to make the most of the opportunities on offer.”
Caption: Foreground: L-R Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey and youth employability advisor Ali Nazakat are pictured at West Bromwich Jobcentre