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Wigan Council's £2m boost for apprenticeship and job seekers
2:20pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
COUNCIL Leader Lord Peter Smith says withdrawing almost £2 million from the authority's reserves will help hundreds of people find jobs He said the money will pay for a new apprenticeship scheme giving young people work within Wigan council and for a support team to help people aged 25-50 get jobs.
Together the schemes will cost almost £2m but Lord Smith warned the recurring cost of not helping people into work would be even higher. The money to pay for the schemes will come from reserves – the money the council sets aside every year.
He said: “At a time when local government funds are being stretched to their limit, we will do our best to make sure everyone from this borough who wants to earn a living has a fighting chance to flourish.”
The council will recruit at least 20 apprentices over the next 12 months. The current apprenticeship scheme, which was launched in October 2012, led to 20 young people securing positions within the council. In addition, three graduate level apprentices will be taken on costing a total of £750,000.
A further £1m will be spent over the next three years giving around 30 people jobs at the council’s new super depot and its catering arm Metrofresh. These jobs will be open to young people who are not in work, education or training.
And around £370,000 will be used over the next year to securing 400 jobs for people aged 25 to 50.
Lord Smith said: “High numbers of people aged 25 and over are struggling to get work in our borough and this is becoming an increasing problem.
“We want people to get the support they deserve to get back into work. It’s vital for the economy and for the well-being of individuals in this age group who are often made to feel like a forgotten statistic. It also helps to reduce the number of people reliant on the state for support.”