Bid to find 2,016 jobs for young people

A NEW initiative to find jobs for 2,016 young people in the county by 2016 was yesterday launched with the backing of many of the Northamptonshire’s leading firms.

The Challenge 2016 project will promote apprenticeship schemes across the county and aim to create jobs for 18 to 24-year-olds. As part of the scheme, the county council will insist all contractors carrying out projects worth more than £2m in Northamptonshire have to provide apprenticeships for local young people. Larger contracts will provide more posts.

Unveiling the scheme yesterday, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership chairman Paul Southworth said almost 4,800 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are currently out of work.

He said: “When you think about it, the future leadership lies in the age group 18 to 24. That is where our entrepreneurs are going to come from, that is where our leaders are going to come from, that is where new businesses are going to come from and yet, if I am brutally honest I think we are letting them down.

“Our target is to get 2,016 people within that age group back into employment by 2016.

“If we can do that we will have made a marked difference not only to unemployment but on morale in the county.”