MORE young people could find employment in Hailsham after the town authority pledged thousands of pounds for a new jobs scheme.
The ‘Hailsham Works!’ bid would see £40,000 per year given by Hailsham Town Council during a three year period – if the fund is matched following a bid to East Sussex County Council’s Economic Regeneration Fund.
Any development of the project would see new training opportunities, mentoring schemes and town council support ‘to work towards a successsful and meaningful employment and training experience for young people in Hailsham and surrounding areas’, according to a town authority statement.
Hailsham Town Council would give accommodation and administrative support for the proposal.
County and town Cllr Bill Bentley said: “Some young people in Hailsham are facing tough challenges when it comes to looking for direction.
“But I am very confident they can acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in future employment or training throughout the ‘Hailsham Works!’ project.”
Hailsham is one of the biggest employers in the district and the town council has an obligation to work with project partners and actively address youth unemployment in the area, Cllr Bentley said.
He added: “We are keen to see local employers introduce good development opportunities and will work hard in the coming weeks to progress its bid to bring ‘Hailsham Works!’ into fruition as soon as possible.”
Town councillors and the Hailsham Youth Mayor learnt about the project from employment charity Tomorrow’s People at a meeting on Friday, August 6. The new initative would be a replica of a similar existing scheme called ‘Heathfield Works!’ in Heathfield.
John Harrison, Hailsham Town Clerk, said: “The project has had a lot of support from the local and regional community and the Tomorrow’s People charity is keen to leverage its experience in the county both to continue the project at Heathfield and to expand it to Hailsham and other locations.
“Hailsham Town Council is really on the side of young people and regardless of whether the ‘Hailsham Works!’ funding bid is successful, will continue to support schemes which engage and motivate disadvantaged young people who live in the town and want to work locally.
“Apprenticeships in particular are a very real career option and this initiative will help some of our young people into work with a quality local employer which takes its responsibilities to the young person concerned very seriously.”
The town council also wants a youth partnership with other interested organisations, including Hailsham Youth Council, local businesses and Sussex Police, established in the near future.