Report reveals more young people out of work

Winners of the Courier Business of the Month award, James and Luke Smith, presented by Steve Duncan from CFFC
Winners of the Courier Business of the Month award, James and Luke Smith, presented by Steve Duncan from CFFC

An important research project has revealed unemployment among 16 to 24 year olds in Calderdale has risen since last year.

Community Foundation for Calderdale, in partnership with Dr Serena McCluskey, has been researching ten core themes in Calderdale - one of which was ‘Work’.

It’s part of the Vital Signs initiative, which combines a range of existing statistical data with feedback from a community consultation to give a complete picture of life in the borough,

By taking statistical data form sources such as JSNA, unemployment levels and place analytics data and comparing it to what people told them in one to one interviews and a community consultation, they can compare what data reveals and how the community feels.

Steve Duncan, CEO of the foundation, said “Overall the theme work receives a grade C this means that things are ok but should be watched closely. There are like most of the themes we investigated areas that scored well, for example overall employment levels were graded a B, however Calderdale is in the top worst 20 per cent nationally for long term unemployment. 

“Data from August 2015 shows that unemployment in Calderdale is most prevalent in Park, with 399 claimants, Ovenden, with 267 claimants, Town, with 262 claimants, and Illingworth and Mixenden, with 214 claimants.

“Worryingly, unemployment amongst 16-24 year olds has increased from last year’s figures.”

The report also revealed the growth of self-employment has been a dominant feature of the labour market in recent years. Although it is below the national average of 10.22 per cent, it is the second to highest sub region in West Yorkshire at 9.13 per cent.

Dr McCluskey said that raising young people’s educational aspirations and learning opportunities should be raised as a vital issue.

One comment from the community consultation highlighted that more apprenticeships should be created, but with a prospect of a job once completed.

The Community Foundation for Calderdale supports young people into work by funding local organisations which assist young people to find work or education opportunities. One of those is Working Wonders, which helps find young people find apprenticeships.

As part of Working Wonder’s partnership with Project Challenge, a charity that provides qualifications, skills and knowledge on a 12-week programme, Josh Mills was able to apply for an apprenticeship with Pennine Housing and received help to prepare his CV and cover letter, prepare for an interview and purchase interview clothes.

He is now a on a two-year joinery apprenticeship.

He said: “I am so grateful for this support.”