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Friday, 24 October 2014

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New bid to tackle youth unemployment in Cumbria

A new alliance has been forged to tackle the tide of youth unemployment.

About 20 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds in Cumbria are not in education, employment or training.

The need to help these 9,000 so-called Neets has been flagged up as an area needing urgent attention nationally.

In Cumbria, the new Galvanise team hopes that it can carry out work that will change lives. It is made up of a partnership between the Carlisle-based Living Well Trust and training group Groundwork North East.

They will target their attention at the age group – action those involved say could have a major impact in helping transform areas of high unemployment by getting people into work or training.

Living Well chief executive Geoff Baxter said: “Every young person needs the opportunity to earn a living and gain self-respect and a sense of purpose through a regular job.

“As these young people find new skills, structure and purpose, lives will be rebuilt, jobs will be generated, and new businesses will be created.”

The alliance will be unveiled at an awards ceremony in Carlisle tonight to reward the achievements of young people Living Well has worked with nationally.

News of their further work comes after Mr Baxter briefed Prime Minister David Cameron about the organisation’s work when he visited their headquarters on Marks Avenue, Raffles.

Mr Baxter added: “Partnership is essential in all walks of life, but none more so in efforts to support vulnerable young people.

“I believe that this partnership will have a long-term impact on the lives of individuals, on the economy and the future leaders of Cumbrian enterprise.”

Groundwork managing director Kate Culverhouse added: “Being out of work is a personal tragedy for those who experience it and being unemployed for a considerable time can adversely affect a person’s self-esteem.

“There is both an emotional and economic cost to young people being out of work when, if they were supported to fulfil their potential, they would make a significant contribution to the area both economically and practically.”

Employment figures this week showed the county’s overall unemployment rate unchanged at 2.8 per cent.

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