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Minister unveils cash boost for young jobless

PUBLISHED: 11:09 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:06 23 August 2010

THE young and unemployed are set to benefit from a £3.75 million Government scheme to train them and get them back into work. Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for the South East of England, launched the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) during a conference at Princes Par

THE young and unemployed are set to benefit from a £3.75 million Government scheme to train them and get them back into work.

Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for the South East of England, launched the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) during a conference at Princes Park stadium, in Princes Road, Dartford.

The FJF will support employment agencies in getting people back into work and will work alongside North West Kent College (NWKC) to develop the skills-base in north Kent.

Speaking at the stadium, home to the Darts FC, Mr Shaw said: "Overall there is a mismatch between skills levels and the emerging job opportunities we plan to create as we come out of this recession. The area needs to change from being a lower-skilled to a higher-skilled economy.

"We need more residents to progress further up the skills ladder in order to compete for the higher value jobs we plan to create. The skills training provided needs to better match the present and future needs of employers in north Kent."

The conference, held last Friday, was organised under the Multi-Area Agreement - a new partnership between the councils in north Kent and central government.

The FJF will last for two years with jobs provided on a six-monthly basis.

A quarter of the jobs will be reserved for people from poor areas of Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale.

All of the jobs will benefit the community and many of them will be with councils and voluntary organisations in the area.

A number of jobs will be provided in sustainable construction and Dartford and Gravesend-based NWKC will help to provide training, including in the renovation of existing dwellings in the area.

Mr Shaw added: "In previous recessions there have been some people, often the young, who have been left behind when the economy picks up. Without intervention at national and local level this could easily happen again.

"North Kent has a disproportionate number of people under the age of 24 who are unemployed, 32 per cent, which is above both the national and regional average.

"I am determined we will not have another lost generation in the South East."

n For more information visit www.campaigns.dwp.gov.uk/cam paigns/futurejobs fund/index.asp.

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