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Newcastle upon Tyne Liberal Democrats

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March 5, 2009 12:01 AM

Newcastle City Council has announced plans to increase the number of apprentices it employs.

Councillor Greg Stone, lead member for employment and economic development, welcomed Newcastle City Council plans to increase the number of apprenticeships from 35 to 115

The figure is set to include new opportunities for young people in social care, hospitality and catering, construction, IT, classroom support staff, and finance.

The city council also debated a motion last night calling on the council to play its part in helping city residents find jobs during the economic downturn.

Cllr Stone responded by highlighting the success of the council's innovative approach to employability in the city working in partnership with Job Centre Plus and other bodies via the innovative Newcastle Futures project.

The council and its partners are currently developing proposals for an "Employer Hub" project which will support job matching for customers and job retention support for both employees and employers that will increase sustained employment within Newcastle, and for the establishment of three local Resource Centres to assist with job search opportunities, skills development, well-being counselling and support, and debt advice.

Councillor Stone said: "The city council is very much aware that the current economic situation is difficult and supporting employers, existing employees, and potential employees across the city is increasingly a priority for the council and its partners in the public, private, and voluntary sectors.

"The innovative approach to employability in the city has been singled out for praise by the Government in their 'No One Left Behind' Green Paper on employment. "Sadly, the only people who appear to have been left behind are Newcastle's Labour councillors, who have proposed an embarrassingly out of touch motion which calls on the council to introduce measures that are already being taken with great success, and which are being commended by their own Government."