Unemployment among 18 to 25-year-olds in Birmingham is continuing to fall, new figures have revealed.
The latest figures show that the youth unemployment rate in the city currently stands at 9.1 per cent – down from 12.4 per cent in April 2014.
This comes just months after Birmingham City Council gave the formal go-ahead to the city’s Youth Promise, which pledges to ensure that all young people aged 14 to 25 in the city will have access to employment, education, training, apprenticeships or work experience within four months of leaving education or employment.
Birmingham has one of the youngest populations of any city in Europe, with 53 per cent of the population under the age of 35 and 39 per cent under the age of 25.
The Youth Promise is delivered through a wide range of initiatives, including a new Birmingham careers service for 16 to 19-year-olds, specialist mentoring, a digital access point through which young people can access services available to them, and an improved monitoring and tracking system enabling Birmingham City Council to effectively monitor the number of young people classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training) and reduce the number whose current status is not known.
It also includes a targeted employment fund to ensure help is available to those who need it the most, particularly in areas with high unemployment, plus developing a universal transport offer for young people to ensure transport is not a barrier to accessing education and employment opportunities.
The Youth Promise is being funded with £1 million from the Youth Strategy Contingency Fund from 2014/15 to 2016/17, with any funds underused in a given year being carried over to the next.
Councillor Penny Holbrook, cabinet member for skills, learning and culture, said: “I am pleased to see that the youth unemployment rate in Birmingham is continuing to fall. We have one of the youngest populations in Europe, so youth unemployment does still remain a challenge, but these figures show that we are moving in the right direction and must now continue to build on this positive work.
“Birmingham’s Youth Promise was launched in direct response to this challenge, to ensure that all young people in our city are able to access the employment, training and education opportunities available to them within a specific time period. We are already seeing the positive impact of this initiative, which will not only help our young people develop their skills and strengths but will ultimately also benefit Birmingham as a whole.”