Jobs scheme is to get funding boost

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment

A back-to-work scheme which offers paid work placements to the jobless is getting a £561,000 funding boost.

The regional branch of Job Centre Plus is ploughing the cash into part of Bradford Council’s flagship Get Bradford Working programme.

The money will be invested into the Employment Opportunities Fund, which offers a paid 12-month work placement with a local employer to the young jobless.

People aged 50 or more and those with disabilities are also being helped by the scheme, which pays the minimum wage as well as providing the qualifications and experience needed to break the cycle of long-term unemployment.

A year after its unveiling, the scheme is on target to help around 400 unemployed people.

Nationally, the Labour party has said it would be keen to use the Bradford project as a model for a nationwide job scheme if it wins power at the next election.

The investment by Job Centre Plus means it joins existing funders Bradford Council and social landlord Incommunities.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, said: “We are very pleased that Job Centre Plus has agreed to part-fund the Employment Opportunities Fund. It joins Incommunities as key funding partners.

“It just shows how much confidence our partners have in the Get Bradford Working programme. It is already exceeding all our expectations.”

Nationally, the Labour party has said it would be keen to use the Bradford project as a model for a national job scheme if it wins power at the next election.

The Council and Incommunities are also hosting a first anniversary event to celebrate those who have secured a job through the project.

Geraldine Howley, Incommunities group chief executive, said: “Incommunities are proud to be joining workers, employers and partners at this celebration event marking a fantastic first year for the Employment Opportunities Fund.”

The event, on Monday at Bradford City Hall, is also being held to thank all the employers who have taken part.

There will be talks from the perspective of an employer, by Amy Eden, co-founder of the Factory Street Recording Studio and Andy Walsh, operations manager at the Sandale Community Centre.

Coun Hinchcliffe and Tony Reeves, Bradford Council’s chief executive, will also be speaking.

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