Scunthorpe Telegraph's Your Life, Your Future campaign aims to highlight job, training and education opportunities across North Lincolnshire
A new drive is being launched today to help raise aspirations and create more employment in the region.
The Scunthorpe Telegraph's Your Life, Your Future campaign aims to highlight job, training and education opportunities across North Lincolnshire.
Together with our partners, we will look to tackle the problem of those not in employment, education or training.
Figures show in September, a total of 4,873 people were claiming the Jobseekers' Allowance benefit in the region.
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Of that total, 1,520 were aged between 18 and 24, representing a percentage of 12.2 of the age group and sitting well above the national average.
The initiative will have a focus on the opportunities for apprenticeships in the region and the big chance for large-scale employment from the renewables industry.
And the campaign is not just aimed at the younger generation, as there are also opportunities around re-training.
Among the partners for the campaign is North Lincolnshire Council, which has already made a commitment to apprenticeships.
Council leader Liz Redfern said the authority was pleased to sign up for Your Life, Your Future.
She said: "We want to do our best to raise aspirations and create as many employment opportunities for residents of North Lincolnshire as we can.
"We want to raise aspirations in our young people, so they start to think about high-skilled jobs and because we want them to earn more."
Mrs Redfern said she thought the campaign was important.
She said: "It is critical for a lot of reasons.
"The first one is we must make sure we are able to maximise the opportunity from every vacancy out there.
"The other thing is it is really important from an inward investment perspective.
"As we start to attract new employers, we are showing we have got a community newspaper working closely with the council to really deliver for the residents of the area.
"It sends a positive message that we are the right place to do business."
Mrs Redfern said the council was setting up a grant fund to enable small businesses to be set up, using cash from the authority's £10 million Regional Growth Fund pot.
There will also be a focus on re-training and allowing older people to develop new skills.
She said: "We are looking at developing a small grant fund for people who want to start in business, as that is one way you can get into employment.
"The second aspect is to use adult community learning because there are opportunities for residents to improve their skills, which will enable them to get the job they want.
"It is very much about improvement, either by setting up a business yourself, finding the right job or taking on more qualifications."
The council has committed to taking on 120 apprentices over a four-year period from April this year.
It has so far provided placements for 40 people, with 16 starting work in April and the remaining 24 beginning their roles in September.
Mrs Redfern said: "We see apprenticeships as being crucial to getting as many young people into work as possible.
"We have set ourselves ambitious targets to ensure we will get as many young people experience of work as possible.
"Apprenticeships are critical because they enable young people to continue with their education while earning some money in work."
And she said the council would continue to do its bit to attract investment and jobs to the region.
She said: "As a council, we are actively working to secure more inward investment.
"This means more companies, generating more employment opportunities to increase the prosperity of the area.
"We will be doing careers fairs, we are going to be looking at setting up job fairs, we are taking on more apprentices and we are working with employers to create new jobs."
Your Life, Your Future was launched in April, in partnership with UK Steel Enterprise Ltd.
The scheme has highlighted the opportunities available through the organisation's £1.5 million funding commitment to businesses and community initiatives in North Lincolnshire.
It also won the support of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Also part of the campaign is The Parishes shopping centre in Scunthorpe.
Tony Pickering, centre manager, said: "We want to be on board with this campaign to show our support for the town and its people, to boost trade for our retailers and make sure people have access to the advice and skills they need.
"Scunthorpe has a strong heritage and many hard working people that are determined to see the town flourish – so are we.
"We want to support local people to improve their skills, get back into employment and boost the local economy."
David Atkin, the Scunthorpe Telegraph editor, said: "We are delighted to Your Life, Your Future is gathering more momentum. Working with our partners, we hope to play an important role in creating jobs for local people and helping our region to prosper."