Headlines: March 25th, 2014

The Leicester and Leicestershire City Deal will create thousands of new jobs and apprentices. It aims to halve youth unemployment by establishing the ‘Young Persons Pledge’.

This pledge commits the area to provide all 16 to 24-year-olds with the chance to secure sustained employment, education and training and is underpinned by the ‘to work’ programme.

The programme will establish a case work support service that will provide personalised help for young people to give them the help they need to improve their education, seek training, secure an apprenticeship or get a job.

The programme will also set up an Employment and Apprenticeship Hub that will drive up demand in local businesses for apprenticeships, traineeships and other national employment schemes.

There will also be an innovative new employment and training scheme that will help 200 young offenders into work and this will be complemented by local youth employment schemes that support national programmes.

It is estimated that the City Deal will create 1,400 new jobs and 4,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships in Leicestershire. In total the deal will unlock over £130 million of public and private sector investment.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “We’re giving Leicester the freedom, power and tools to be really innovative and design whole new ways of building a stronger economy and fairer society. This City Deal puts power in the hands of local people who know best what skills are needed in the area to give it a real chance of changing the fortunes of thousands of people across Leicestershire.”

Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said: “Youth unemployment is already on the downward slide and this City Deal, proposed by local business, civic and university leaders in Leicester and the surrounding county, will help reduce it even more. By helping to grow local small and medium sized businesses, we will encourage and support more to take on trainees and apprentices to ensure the skills remain in the region. That way order books fill up and more young people have jobs. “