Rossendale leads the way in youth work programmes

Published September 27, 2021 at 14:26

Rossendale Council’s Youth Hub and Works programmes, Rossendale Works and Rossendale Youth Works, have been recognised at an event attended by Council Leader, MP Jake Berry and leaders at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Active Lancashire. 

Rossendale Youth Hub was established to assist 16 to 24-year-olds become work ready and helped into employment following a spike in youth unemployment caused by Covid restrictions. 

The hub, only the second one in Lancashire and Cumbria, is based at Rossendale Council at Futures Park and funded in partnership by Rossendale Council, the DWP and Active Lancashire. 

It is staffed by youth work coaches and supported by the council’s employability programmes, Rossendale Works, which has been running for three years, and sister project Rossendale Youth Works. 

The council is also a Kickstart gateway organisation for Rossendale businesses helping them to access funding to support full-time jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds and runs the local employability and skills forum. 

Rossendale Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said: “Over the last year or two the council, working closely with Active Lancashire, have set up the Rossendale Employability scheme – this scheme has successfully linked long-term unemployed people up with local employers. Working with the DWP we’ve launched a similar scheme aimed at young people in the valley. 

“The Youth Hub brings services as close as it can to the people that need them, breaking down any potential barriers to work and providing participants with all the support they need to help them succeed in the job market. Our young people are our future and they have really suffered over the past eighteen months so the more help we can give them the better.” 

Local MP Jake Berry said:” Initiatives like this are so important to help our young people to reach their full potential s and it’s fantastic that Rossendale along with our partners at the DWP and Active Lancashire, are leading the way with excellent initiatives like this.” 

Since Rossendale Youth Works was established in November last year, the project has successfully placed 30 per cent of participants into work.  

Heather Murray Senior Leader for External Employment and Partnerships at the DWP said: “This is a fantastic example of local organisations working together on challenging issues to make a real difference to young people aged 16-24 with work support in employability skills and provision. And aonly one of two hubs to offer face to face service delivery in Lancashire and Cumbria, with many more to follow, it is an example to other areas what can be achieved.” 

As well as providing practical support to the youngsters like CV writing and interview skills, the Rossendale schemes, also provide young people with physical activities, mental health support, and access to group sessions run by Burnley FC in the Community and other organisations. 

Adrian Leather CEO at Active Lancashire said: “Health and economic development are closely linked especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and looking after their physical and mental health can often be the starting point for helping these youngsters into employment. Partnerships like these in Rossendale are the key step changes that make that difference.” 

picture caption l to r: back row, Jake Berry MP, Neil Shaw RBC CEO, Adrian Leather CEO Active Lancs –front row, Alyson Barnes Council Leader, Heather Murray Senior Leadership Lead DWP

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