Rossendale’s working for 16-24 year olds

A Youth Hub has been opened in Rossendale to assist 16 to 24-year-olds become work ready and helped into employment. 

The hub, only the second in Lancashire and Cumbria, is based at Rossendale Council at Futures Park in Bacup and funded by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). 

It is manned by Jobcentre youth work coaches Natasha Woods and Liam Hickey and is supported by the council's employability programmes Rossendale Works, which has been running for three years, and sister project Rossendale Youth Works. 

In Rossendale throughout the pandemic, the number of people claiming universal credit has increased by 109 per cent and there has been a 101 per cent increase in young claimants. 

The council is also a Kickstart gateway organisation for Rossendale businesses helping them to access funding to support full-time jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds and runs the local employability and skills forum. 

Rossendale Council leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said: “Over the last year or two the council, working closely with Active Lancashire have set up the Rossendale Employability scheme - this scheme has successfully linked long-term unemployed people up with local employers. We are now working with the DWP on a similar scheme aimed at young people in the valley. 

"The new youth hub brings services as close as it can to the people that need them, breaking down any potential barriers to work and providing participants with all the support they need to help them succeed in the job market. Our young people are our future; the more help we can give them the better.” 

Since Rossendale Youth Works was founded in November last year, it has worked with 50 young people and 15 have now gained full-time employment. 

A key to the success of the Rossendale schemes, is providing young people with physical activities, mental health support, access to group sessions run by Burnley FC in the Community and other organisations including Citizens' Advice. 

Rossendale Works project lead Paul Becouarn said: “It is important that we have a structured timetable of physical and mental health and well-being activities to help those who are not yet ready for work. 

“Rossendale Works and Youth Works have been a great success and the hub works alongside these projects. 

“We have had great feedback from the employers who have taken on staff through the project. 

“Rossendale Works and Youth Works initially started off to support local employers and businesses, now it has turned full circle and we have local businesses and residents coming to us to see what they can do to help the residents.” 

Mims Davies MP, minister for employment, said: “By rolling out our DWP Youth Hubs across local communities like this one in Rossendale, means young people will, importantly, be able to access vital, suitable support from our Work Coaches in a range of settings helping to match them with local opportunities whether it’s more training to boost confidence or focussed help to assist them to move into employment. 

“This is a challenging time and we are serious about investing in our young people as we get Britain back working again and moving further into recovery. That’s why, as part of our enhanced Youth Offer, we are also injecting £2 billion into the DWP Kickstart scheme, creating new, subsidised, high-quality roles for under 25s as we continue our work to protect, support and create jobs.” 

Anyone wanting to know more about the schemes can contact economicdevelopment@rossendalebc.gov.uk 

You can view a video here: Rossendale Youth Works Project 

Caption: From left, DWP Team Leader Phil Goodall, DWP Youth Work Coach Natasha Woods, DWP Youth Work Coach Liam Hickey, Rossendale Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes. Rossendale Works Project Lead Paul Becouarn and DWP Partnership Manager Fran Starkie.