A STRATEGY to develop a firm foundation for job creation and support in Middlesbrough will be considered by the town’s Mayor Ray Mallon next week.

The proposed approach underlines the importance of the Council’s leadership role in improving young people’s employability and ensuring they have the best opportunities in a fiercely competitive labour market.

A report to be considered by Mr Mallon on Tuesday (November 4) recommends the adoption of the Middlesbrough Youth Employment Strategy which has four key aims:

  • Increase the number of young people in employment, education and training
  • Increase the employment rate among young people
  • Enable young people to maximise their economic contribution
  • Encourage young people to be more active and improve their health and wellbeing

Under the proposals the Council will work closely with schools and colleges, employers and other partners to support the 7,000 people who will leave school over the next five years to go into further/higher education or the jobs market.

While improving educational attainment remains a priority, further emphasis will be given to helping young people develop their employability skills and in turn speed their development and maximise their future potential.

A Youth Employability Pledge will be drawn up for 14- to 19-year-olds to define the experiences and opportunities that should be viewed as an entitlement for the town’s young people.

The Council will be the first signatory to the Pledge, making clear commitments to increase the number of apprenticeships, trainee and work placement opportunities it offers.

Other organisations with a stake in the development of young people and the creation of employment opportunities will be invited to follow suit.

Delivery of the Pledge will be overseen by a Youth Employability Board, chaired by the Mayor and with membership drawn from a wide range of partners including schools, colleges and Teesside University, Tees Valley Unlimited, the North East Chamber of Commerce and business leaders and Middlesbrough Football Club.

Consultation with young people’s groups will be undertaken during November, with a first meeting of the Youth Employability Board scheduled for December.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon said: “I have always stated that the only guarantee this town has for the future is its young people.

“But to make the most of that future, they must be equipped to compete for opportunities at all levels in a highly competitive market.

“This Council has a key leadership role to play in helping our young people to achieve the skills and qualifications they need to maximise their potential.

“By working closely with local business and industry, we can ensure they have the first class interview, entrepreneurship, social and communication skills that employers value and which will stand them and the town as a whole in good stead for the future.”