Brand new Youth Hub opened at Civic Centre to support young people into employment

Source: South Ribble Borough Council 6 October 2021
(left to right): Karl Worsley (Partnership Manager at DWP), Jennifer Mullin (Director of Communities at SRBC), Cllr Paul Foster (SRBC Council Leader), Julie Whelan-Cooper (Customer Service Leader, Leyland Jobcentre), Sharon Lindley (Youth Work Coach Team Leader) pictured outside the Civic Centre, Leyland.

South Ribble Youth Hub was officially opened today (Wednesday 6 October) and will act as local centre for 16-24-year-olds to access support to help them into employment.

Working in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), South Ribble Borough Council has provided the space for the hub – enabling young people to access support locally.

It will operate from the Civic Centre in Leyland four days per week, with referrals currently being made through Jobcentre Plus. It is expected that a drop-in facility will be implemented soon.

The Youth Hub will bring together local partners to support young people with access to services relating to employment, debt and finances, and health and wellbeing – including support for mental health and confidence building.

As well as providing a base for the Youth Hub, the Council has applied for funding to recruit a specialist Youth Engagement Officer to support its work and develop a series of initiatives to help young people right across the borough.

Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “South Ribble has sadly been identified as one of the areas that has seen the biggest increase in youth unemployment and it’s of no doubt that the devastating effects of the pandemic have been a root cause of this.

“We’re dedicated to do all we can to support the young people of the borough and I’m so pleased that we have been able to work with the DWP to support and play host to the Youth Hub.

“The Council has a long history of working in collaboration with the DWP, assisting residents of the borough who are seeking support in preparing for training, apprenticeships and employment.

“We have already successfully co-located Jobcentre Plus here at the Civic Centre, providing a co-ordinated support offer, and the Youth Hub now provides a dedicated resource for our younger residents.

“Our support doesn’t stop there. Hopefully our application for grant funding will be successful and we will be able to bring to the team a specialist Youth Engagement Officer to further develop vital initiatives to support our young people – providing them with the skills, support and knowledge to embark on their careers.”

Tracey Ellmore (Senior Partnership Manager at DWP) and Sarah McCarthy (Youth Employability Coach) examine the ‘Apprentice Factory’ at the new South Ribble Youth Hub.

Cllr Foster was joined at today’s official launch by Katherine Fletcher MP and representatives of the DWP. Guests were able to take a tour of the Youth Hub and speak to staff about the work they do to support young people.

Heather Murray, the DWP’s Senior Partnership Leader for Cumbria and Lancashire, said: “We are really pleased with the launch of South Ribble Youth Hub, which means we can work collaboratively with our partners to help with the aspirations of South Ribble’s young people and move them into a career whilst supporting them to remove the barriers that they face and enhancing the young workforce of the future.”

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