Giving the young a fighting chance

(right to left) Coun Chris Maughan, cabinet member for youth employment, Mike Taplin, Blackpool Council senior manager for early years and family support,  Gareth Carr from Job Centre Plus and young people attending the youthability hub
(right to left) Coun Chris Maughan, cabinet member for youth employment, Mike Taplin, Blackpool Council senior manager for early years and family support, Gareth Carr from Job Centre Plus and young people attending the youthability hub
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Blackpool’s hundreds of out of work young people are being offered help by a new expert service designed to get them back into employment.

Job Centre Plus and Blackpool Council have set up The Youthability Hub, a drop-in centre for 16- to 24-year-olds wanting to improve their employment chances or get 
support ranging from health tips and housing advice to counselling.

The hub, at The Base on Buchanan Street, has been set up to help the resort’s scores of unemployed youths.

It comes at a time when some 1,700 young people in the resort are currently out of work.

Coun Chris Maughan, cabinet member for youth employment at Blackpool Council, said: “There’s no escaping the fact that it’s a difficult time for young people at the moment. Unemployment is high and life is tough for many.

“This can be really demoralising and people can feel like they’re all on their own. That’s not the case.”

The ‘hub’ will offer job and apprentice opportunities, as well as advice about a range of subjects important to young people including housing, welfare and relationship 
advice as well as access to local services.

It was today welcomed by youth workers and young 
people alike.

Youth worker Laurance Hancock, who works with children aged from five to 18 at The Boathouse Youth in South Shore, welcomed the new scheme but said he hopes it will be used as a short term solution and not a long term strategy.

He added: “It’s definitely a positive step, I hope it works and I hope it’s able to adapt quickly as the need does.

“I think young people would welcome this but it’s got to be high quality.”

Coun Maughan added: “With the Youthability Hub, young people can come and meet people in similar positions, as well as speaking to professionals and getting advice on improving their lifestyle.

“I’m delighted that we are able to work with the public, private and voluntary sector.

“It’s crucial that we are all able to work together to share ideas on how we can step up our action and stand up for Blackpool’s young people.”

The Youthability Hub is open every Tuesday afternoon from 1-5pm.

To find out more, contact Blackpool Council’s Connexions on (01253) 754840.