A pioneering jobs scheme will be able to help an extra 250 people into work thanks to a £1 million funding boost.
Bradford Council’s £10m Get Bradford Working project includes an employment opportunities fund, which gives the young jobless a paid 12-month placement carrying out work that will benefit the community.
This fund has now been awarded an extra £1,038,000 million so it can help more out-of-work 18 to 24-year-olds.
The money has come from central Government funds, despite the scheme coming under criticism by senior Conservative Grant Shapps this month.
It means the Government will join existing investors Incommunities and Job Centre Plus, as well as the Council itself.
The fund was originally set up to create about 400 temporary jobs that would enable people to gain skills and experience. They would be employed on 12-month contracts carrying out work to benefit the community.
Now the scheme will be extended to offer a total of 650 jobs.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s executive member for employment, said: “I’m pleased to be able to say that additional funding of £1.038m has now been secured to support Bradford Council’s employment opportunities fund.
“This money is coming to us through the Leeds City Region’s Headstart programme, which is money from national government to fund local schemes to tackle youth unemployment.
“This will extend Bradford’s employment opportunities fund so that we are able to support a further 250 long-term unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds into sustained employment on top of the 400 people that we’re already committed to help.
“This initiative continues to change people’s lives as we work to give people the opportunities they deserve to succeed.”
Nationally, the Labour Party is keen to introduce the scheme across the country if it wins power at the next election but earlier this month, Mr Shapps, Conservative Party chairman, said he would be concerned if taxpayers’ money was being used to fund public sector jobs.
He said: “Anyone can raise tax and spend it on paying people to do things. I don’t know if that’s definitely what is happening in a case like this, but there is always that concern.”
He said the Conservatives were concentrating on helping businesses to create jobs themselves.