A Youth Hub has opened at the Library of Birmingham to offer practical support to young people looking for work.
It is one of eight Youth Hubs set up across the region by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) who say they are a crucial part of their plan to drive the region’s economic recovery.
The Youth Hubs are especially designed to equip young people with the skills they need to land jobs in growth sectors.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street cut the ribbon on the hub which brings together local employment and training services.
Helping people get a job
The Youth Hub has already helped Sian Williams to find a job. She said: “I was struggling to find work for about a year until I started using the services at Youth Hub. Without it, I don’t think I would have been able to find one.
“Because it was really difficult. Everytime I applied for a job, the employers kept giving excuses about why they couldn’t hire me. So yeah it’s really helping.”
‘A place where young people can feel happy talking about their future’
Tara Verrell, Interim Youth Employment Initiative Project Manager for Birmingham City Council says: “The Birmingham Youth hub provides a place where young people feel happy to walk in and talk about their future.
“I think the difference is that it takes the pressure off and enables young people to just open up a bit, but they’re still talking to a professional work coach from the Job Centre about their career.”
Helping young people who don’t engage with Job Centres
Jason Coke, Work Coach for Youth Hub says: “Well, we get referrals from all sorts of areas of the department, we get them from Prince’s Trust, we get them from Birmingham City Council, and we get them mainly from Job Centres.
“It’s mainly the environment that is our biggest asset. We have issues with young people who don’t really engage with Job Centres. So the decision was made to move to design and create the Youth Hub.
“We found in the Job Centre environment, people tell the Job Centre staff what they need to hear, whereas here - they’re much more open and engaged in the conversation. And are much more willing to accept our advice and guidance.”
Youth Hub works with experts from different sectors
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, says: “So this is about everybody coming together to work together. That’s the unique thing here. Yes, the DWP, the people who run the Job Centres.
“They’re important, but they’ve worked with the city council, with us, with a number of charities, different employers - all coming together. So from a young person’s point of view, they can be confident they get access to everything that’s on offer if they come to this place.
Cllr. Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture says: “I couldn’t agree more with that. I think the days that single organisations doing anything on their own, it’s just, you know, it’s gone to the wall now.“
How do I find out more information?
Information about what support is available through the Birmingham Youth Hub can be found by clicking on: Birmingham Youth Hub
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.