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Crawley council sets up Youth Hub to help young jobseekers

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Crawley’s young jobseekers will get improved employment support thanks to a new service launched today by Crawley Borough Council, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.

In response to the rapid increase in unemployment among young adults caused by the pandemic, the council’s Employ Crawley team has joined forces with Jobcentre Plus, securing funding to set up a Youth Hub – an employment advice service to help local young people back into work.

Jobcentre Plus and Employ Crawley Advisors will work together to help young adults find work, support them to reskill for alternative careers, and access training opportunities. Importantly, this specialist service will also identify and address barriers that are holding young people back.

Crawley’s new Youth Hub forms part of the Department for Work and Pensions wider support for young jobseekers which will see them roll out across the UK in a range of settings ensuring those in need have vital access to support.

Mims Davies, MP for Mid Sussex and Minister for Employment, who will attend the official launch of the hub virtually on the 9 November, said:

“Getting a Youth Hub up and running in Crawley means young jobseekers here have the support they need on their doorstep. Whether that’s help to get a first job or a new job in a new sector, the experts that run this Hub will be able to find the right opportunities for the young people who come for help.

“This is a challenging time for many young people and we are serious about investing in the support they need, including running Youth Hubs like this across the country and launching the £2 billion Kickstart scheme that will offer paid 6 month roles to under 25s. While times are tough, I want young people to know there is hope – and opportunity – out there.”

The Hub will be located on the ground floor of the Town Hall and can be accessed by appointment only, from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Services provided by the new Youth Hub will also be available virtually.

Work has been undertaken to ensure the Hub is Covid secure and visitors attending appointments will be asked to follow safety measures.

The Youth Hub will also actively promote the Government’s Kickstart Scheme for 16-24 year olds and will support them to find a placement that suits them.

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said:

“There are many people in Crawley who need help and the council is committed to doing all we can to ensure that this help is readily available for everyone, including our young people.

“It’s important the needs of our local young people are not forgotten and this new service will mean they have access to valuable support towards getting back into employment and to start building successful careers.”

For more information about the service, visit: https://investcrawley.co.uk/employment-and-skills To book an appointment, please call 07814 903871 /  07909730956 or email employcrawley@crawley.gov.uk

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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