East Suffolk: Councils reveal plans to tackle youth unemployment

Suffolk Coastal District Council headquarters in Woodbridge

Suffolk Coastal District Council headquarters in Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District councils have laid out their plans to tackle youth unemployment in their latest growth plan.

The East Suffolk Growth Plan for 2014 to 2025 targets growth in key areas, including increasing provisions for improving youth unemployment.

Measures include improved careers and advice services for young people, increased awareness of apprenticeships across Suffolk, creating more links between University Campus Suffolk and research centres, and lobbying for investment in basic skills developments in schools.

The plan also includes establishing a youth guarantee scheme to support 18 to 24 year-olds into work.

A spokesperson from Suffolk Coastal District Council said, “Our goals are challenging, but we will work with county, regional and national partners to achieve them. We will create the right conditions to increase the number of jobs in East Suffolk by 10,000, and work within Suffolk to support the youth guarantee and create new apprenticeships.”

“Enhancing the skills of both the adult workforce and young people entering the labour market is a critical factor in enabling local economic growth.”

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is involved in the plan, with its City Deal Programme increasing financial resources across greater Ipswich and Norwich, and increasing the number of apprenticeships available.

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Iain Dunnett, stakeholder manager of New Anglia LEP, said: “New Anglia LEP has worked closely with all Suffolk local authorities to develop their plan. We very much support key developments such as growth of Sizewell C, the Port of Felixstowe and increased apprenticeships as part of the Ipswich City Deal.”

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics from December last year, the youth unemployment rate, based on 16 to 24 year-olds claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the Suffolk Coastal area, is at 2.8 per cent, which is below the national average of 4.9 per cent.

Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: “In Suffolk Coastal we have the most number of young people unemployed in the history of the constituency, I welcome the initiative and we need to increase the skill element of young people in Suffolk.”

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