A BRADFORD jobs programme is celebrating exceeding expectation by creating jobs for 575 people - with more work opportunities planned over the next three years.

Successful job applicants and partners in The Employment Opportunities Fund will be at City Hall marking their success today.

The partnership, which includes Bradford Council, Incommunities, Job Centre Plus and Aspire-i, has plans to develop and expand the programme.

More than 1,350 candidates attended an initial assessment day and more than 880 people went on to an accredited recruitment and selection training programme, many in sectors such as banking, commerce and industry. Some have gone on to further education or training.

The scheme's recruits are paid the minimum wage for 30 hours per week, helping them be better equipped to compete in the labour market by getting skills, experience and qualifications.

In addition to targeting the original client groups of 18 to 24 year-olds, those aged 50 and over and people with disabilities, new funding has also helped the programme work with those over 25s who are out of work as well.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council's executive member for Employment, Skills and Culture, said: "The Employment Opportunities Fund is part of the Council's Get Bradford Working Scheme to boost employment opportunities for all those living in the district.

"We are absolutely delighted that the programme has exceeded its original target of creating 400 jobs, and is on course to deliver an additional 200 jobs, that’s way beyond our original expectations.

"The programme is going from strength to strength by delivering exceptional results and giving Bradford people the chances they need for successful working lives.

"We have invested £10.5 million into Get Bradford Working and are delighted that partners such as Incommunities, Bradford's largest registered social landlord, Job Centre Plus and Aspire-i have also invested significantly."

Get Bradford Working also includes complimentary programmes like the Apprenticeship Training Agency, the Routes into Work commissioned fund and Industrial Centres of Excellence which are delivering an industry-based curriculum for 14 to 19 year-olds.

Steve Short, Director, Incommunities Open Field service, said: "We are committed to improving lives and helping more residents into work is a key priority for us.

"The success of this programme is best demonstrated by the fact that over 80 per cent of all participants have not returned to the unemployment register as a result of having an Employment Opportunities Fund placement."

More than 80 partner employers have recruited people from the programme and based on the success of the Employment Opportunities Fund, the partnership is planning to bring together new funding to deliver an All Age Employment Opportunities Fund for people who have been unemployed for over six months.