Council puts £1m into two schemes in bid to create hundreds of jobs

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A COUNCIL is to spend a total of £1m on two schemes which councillors hope will help create new jobs.

Kirklees Council is investing in two projects, one supporting businesses to grow and the other to help young people struggling to find work.

The Kirklees Job Fund will provide opportunities for 180 unemployed people aged 18-24.

Participants will secure a paid job placement with a local employer of up to 26 weeks to gain work skills which will help them move into permanent work.

And the Access to Finance Job Growth Programme will pool resources with other business support schemes in the region to create a fund which Kirklees businesses can apply for.

Applications for grants – and in some circumstances loans – are encouraged from local companies where there is the potential to create new jobs.

The scheme aims to support around 20 companies and create 120 new jobs.

Councillor Peter McBride, Kirklees Cabinet’s lead member for investment and housing, said: “Despite challenging financial circumstances, we have continued to invest in schemes and projects which have demonstrated a positive effect on the local economy.

“But next year we will focus all our resources on these two strategically linked projects, which together will help create sustainable jobs for young people who are finding it so difficult to break into the job market.

“The recession has hit young people particularly hard. In many cases there simply aren’t enough jobs to go around, and where there are vacancies, many young people lack the experience to convince an employer to appoint them.

“Taken together, these two schemes have the potential to boost jobs across Kirklees, and ensure that our own young unemployed residents can seize those opportunities created.”