Brighton announces hub to tackle post-pandemic youth unemployment

A new youth employment hub is open to Brighton & Hove residents under the age of 25, to support them in reaching education, employment, and training goals.

Youth unemployment has risen by more than 150% in Brighton at certain times since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

Following a successful bid for government funding, the hub has been created in partnership between the Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

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Cllr Hannah Clare, chair of the children, young people and skills committee, said: ‘Young people have been affected by the pandemic in many ways, and not least through the increase in youth unemployment.

‘Vital industries, like culture, hospitality and tourism, that keep our city thriving have closed and it’s the young people who often fill these jobs who have suffered the consequences. The job market for people leaving education has also left many looking for jobs for the first time without opportunities. It’s therefore critical that we do all we can to reduce the alarming rise in youth unemployment and support young people to fulfil their potential and find work.

‘I’m thrilled we are opening both a digital and physical youth unemployment hub to support with this effort, alongside existing fantastic services like the Youth Employability Service and youth services across the city, who are continuing to support young people through this time.’

The physical hub in Montague Place, Kemp Town, will provide young people with a place to meet with benefits advisers and support workers, and access careers advice and computers.

The digital hub, which is set to launch on 19 July, will provide online access to information about local jobs and training opportunities, collages and courses, CV writing, applying for university and finding financial support and benefits.

The project aims to support at least 500 young people over the next year and increase employment for 18 to 24-year-olds in the city.

Steve Benwell, employment and skills lead for DWP in Brighton & Hove, said: ‘We are really excited to be supporting the development of a youth hub for the city. Youth unemployment has more than doubled over the course of the last year, and there are many young people out there who are anxious, feel isolated and are suffering from a lack of confidence. 

‘The youth employment hub is a safe and friendly space where young people can get all the advice, encouragement and support they need to regain their confidence and develop new skills.’

In related news, anew Rough Sleeping Programme Director will co-ordinate London’s cross-agency efforts to secure long-term accommodation for rough sleepers and prevent them from returning to the streets.

Photo by Ben Guerin


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