177 young people from across five council areas, including Derbyshire Dales, have been showing their 'Ambition' to get into employment as part of a two-year pilot project.
The young people have all taken up the offer to be part of the Ambition scheme, a tailor-made one-to-one support programme for young people aged between 18 and 24 years old who are claiming Job Seekers Allowance.
The first 11 months of the programme has seen:
- 223 people join the programme (target 182),
- 73 people actually gain employment (target 50),
- 55 people start work experience,
- 16 people have progressed in their jobs within 26 weeks,
- 13 people are in sustainable jobs after 26-weeks.
Participants on the scheme have their own individual development plan which is tailored to their short and long term job goals with the ultimate aim to get them into employment by week-13 where they will continue to receive one-to-one support both to help them stay in work and also to progress in work for a further 26 weeks.
In addition to the tailored support, individuals also receive in-work support for six-months, a back to work bonus of £500 when they are in work and support with their progression in the workplace.
Andrew King signed up with Ambition last summer and support through his key worker included updating his CV, writing a cover letter, learning how to fill in application forms and practising for interviews. Over the next 13 weeks Andrew attended weekly appointments at the job centre in Matlock.
Andrew applied for a part time job at Matlock Sainsbury's and was offered the position of Customer Service Assistant, returning to employment on 15 September, and will receive a further 26 weeks of support from his key worker to assist his transition back into work. He has already received positive feedback from his line manager, who is impressed with Andrew's enthusiasm and friendly approach to customers.
Andrew said that working at Sainsbury's is "fantastic" and that all the staff are helpful. He has made new friends and is almost twice as much better off in work than on job seeker's allowance based on the minimum hours he could work each week.
The Ambition programme also provides young people with information and advice on housing issues by giving them early targeted help through a schools programme, advice on different types of accommodation available and targeted mediation where appropriate to help them remain in the family home.
The Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) secured funding through DWP youth contract monies and the service is available in Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire council areas.
- Entry onto the scheme is through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but if anyone requires further information on the programme, including employers, please telephone 01629 761103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org