Bradford Council’s leader joined forces with Ed Miliband yesterday to discuss tackling youth unemployment.
Councillor David Green met the Labour Party leader and senior figures of various local authorities from across the UK for the Youth Jobs Taskforce in Birmingham.
Councils in Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield were among those sharing ideas on how to combat unemployment in people aged 18 to 24 years. Also present were members of the private and voluntary sectors.
Figures provided by The Office for National Statistics last October showed that the number of people aged under 24 claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Bradford for more than six months had risen by 542 per cent since 2008.
The Bradford West parliamentary constituency has suffered particularly high rates of young jobless.
Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, Coun Green said: “The major thing we need in Bradford is we need to create new jobs and ensure there is a link between training or work experience and jobs so that people get work at the end of their training.
“We need to increase the number of jobs in Bradford district to make sure people’s skills are utilised.”
Coun Green also welcomed input and ideas from other authorities.
He said: “It has been refreshing. There was a wide-ranging group of people and a wide-ranging number of discussions.
“It was good to share information between local authorities.
“It was a very positive day, with lots of food for thought. We will be continuing to meet together to continue to learn from people’s experiences and to develop policies that will be applicable in all local areas.
“There are a number of interesting initiatives all over the country. Other authorities are doing some great work, working with the private sector to get young people into vacancies that arise in the private sector.
“We have had some involvement, but not as far as others.”
Coun Green praised apprenticeship programmes and apprenticeship training agencies that are in place throughout the country and suggested at something similar for Bradford.
He said: “There is a whole raft of different measures that are successful across the country. In Glasgow they are looking at youth unemployment amongst graduates.
“We were looking at the best ways to tackle youth unemployment issues.
“The idea is to start working on the next stage, with a view to the private and voluntary sectors, and learn from the best practices in other areas.”