Employers across Wolverhampton are helping to reduce youth unemployment by pledging their support to the city’s Wolves At Work 18-24 initiative.
Wolves At Work 18-24 is being led by City of Wolverhampton Council, which is driving a coordinated and sustained response with city employers and partners.
Although the latest provisional figures for January 2022 show youth unemployment in Wolverhampton has dropped below 10 per cent for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, council bosses recognise there is much more to do. Wolves At Work 18-24 is contributing by supporting young people currently claiming benefits and aged 18 to 24 into sustainable employment, apprenticeships, education or training.
One of the latest employers to pledge its support to the initiative is Wolverhampton Homes, whose mission is to help people get on in life. They have a successful apprenticeship programme which has seen young people secure rewarding careers within the organisation in trades and office based roles. In 2022, they are looking to create more openings for young people through launching their graduate programme, refreshing their work experience opportunities and plan to welcome another cohort of apprentices.
Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “We all need to do our bit to tackle youth unemployment. It’s great to see Wolverhampton Homes leading by example and giving young people these fantastic employment opportunities.
“We know how difficult it is for young people to find the right career pathway at the moment so we want to do as much as possible to help them. We’re urging all local businesses to look at what opportunities they can offer our city’s young people, whether that is employment, training, mentoring, skills development, apprenticeships or something else.
“At the council we have set a target to recruit 50 apprentices by the end of December 2022 but we are actually on track to exceed this figure as we’re proactively looking at where we can turn new vacancies that arise into apprenticeships.”
Shaun Aldis, Chief Executive of Wolverhampton Homes, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Wolves At Work initiative. Together with the council and city partners, we are passionate about supporting our communities, and providing career opportunities for young people. Out of just over 650 staff, we currently boast 13 apprentices and through the scheme’s success have gained some real talent over the years. This year, we pledge to support 37 young people into work through our apprenticeship and work experience programmes.
"We are committed to our vision of unlocking people's potential through housing, skills and technology, and this year, we will add to the offer by launching our graduate programme. Come and speak to us at the events to learn more about our offer and how together we can make Wolverhampton an even better place to live."
Local businesses A F Blakemore and Collins Aerospace have also committed to support the city’s collective approach to reducing youth unemployment. Blakemore’s has pledged to ensure the correct support mechanisms are in pace for young people who join the organisation and Collins Aerospace has pledged to deliver partnerships to 4,000 local young people over the next two years through their ENTHUSE programme, raising engagement and achievement in STEM subjects, especially those from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.
Businesses who would like to make a Wolves At Work 18-24 pledge of support, or would like to discuss the contribution they can make, are urged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.