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East Midlands Chamber News

Employers asked to back Derby's Working scheme

An innovative scheme to provide local residents with employment opportunities has been launched by Derby City Council.

The ‘Derby’s Working Project’ will give unemployed people a vital foothold on the career ladder by funding 80 paid employment opportunities across a range of sectors and industries in the city.

Employers in the city are being encouraged to become involved in the project, which will support local unemployed people as they make the transition to Universal Credit, putting them in a stronger position when the new system is fully adopted.

Under the scheme, participants will be provided with a dedicated mentor, and employers will work with Jobcentre Plus staff to provide references towards the end of the six-month period.

The Council will fund the payment of salaries through the Local Assistance Scheme funding from government grant, and will follow the progress of the 80 job-seekers after their six-month contracts end, to monitor the long-term benefits of the project.

Councillor Sarah Russell, Derby’s Cabinet Member for Business, Finance and Democracy said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Derby’s Working’ scheme. It is one of the many ways that this administration is helping local residents to find work and to deal with the impact of the Welfare Reform Act.

“I’m proud that ‘Derby’s Working’ will support residents while at the same time helping local businesses to identify some of the untapped potential that exists in our city, and to benefit from an extra pair of hands at no cost to them.

“I’d urge businesses to please contact us, find out more about the scheme and get involved in giving deserving local people the opportunities they so desperately want.”

JobcentrePlus will play a key role in the recruitment of the 80 employees, by identifying potential candidates from their pool of job-seekers and supporting businesses with the interview process.

Hilary Govier, District Operations Manager for the Derbyshire District of DWP’s Work Services Directorate said: “JobcentrePlus is delighted to be working alongside Derby City Council on this exciting local initiative. ‘Derby’s Working’ heralds the start of a closer working relationship with colleagues in the Council as we both look to better understand employer need and the skills gap across the key employment sectors in the city and beyond.

“Starting early in the new year, we will be contacting and advising local companies and third sector organisations on how they might access this local grant in return for offering six months’ paid employment.”

The Council is asking businesses in manufacturing, hospitality and leisure, care, logistics and distribution, creative industries and the third sector and social enterprise to register their interest in Derby’s Working by 5pm on Monday 16 December, by emailing dry.okn@eb.o.kebswrigdrygvu. These employers will then be contacted by the Council and Jobcentreplus and will be invited to a conference in March 2014.

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