The Government-backed Future Jobs Fund, set up to help tackle unemployment in the recession, has helped 1,500 young people in Liverpool city region find work.
Councils in the city region and Jobcentre Plus have worked together with over 200 organisations to create job opportunities for long-term unemployed people: these include gardeners, admin assistant, fundraisers, rangers and music tutors.
These opportunities form part of the City Region's plans to create more than 6,000 jobs over the next 18 months. More than 1,300 young people attended the four jobs fairs held in St Helens, Birkenhead, Knowsley and Liverpool in recent weeks to try and secure one of 1,300 jobs available, with over 300 leaving with a job on the day of the fair.
In addition, 13 young people have now moved into permanent employment as a result of their Future Jobs Fund jobs. The project is confident of placing over 2,000 people into jobs by the end of March.
Angela Eagle, minister of state in the Department for Work and Pensions and MP for Wallasey, visited the jobs fair in Liverpool last week. She said: "We are determined to give the young people of Merseyside the help and support they need. I was impressed with the talent and enthusiasm of the young people I met at the jobs fair. They deserve a chance, which is why the Government is working in partnership with Local authorities and the private and voluntary sector to give them one. It is vital we invest now so that we do not lose an entire generation to unemployment."
Cllr Ron Round, leader of Knowsley Council and chairman of the city region Cabinet, said: "This is great news for all of those who have secured a job and their families. It again shows the benefits of us working together to make a difference."
Jack Stopforth, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, said: "The private sector companies that have created job opportunities are very impressed with the calibre of applications from young people. This has been a great start to the programme which is providing exciting and also innovative opportunities for young people that impacts positively to their local community whilst earning a wage."