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Jobs for Wigan
Monday 3rd August, 2009

At least a hundred new jobs are coming to the borough in the next few months, following the government’s announcement of funding for employment across Greater Manchester.

Wigan Council regeneration officers have welcomed the money from the Future Jobs Fund to create jobs in public services over and above the normal levels of spending. Partner agencies in areas such as health, retail and environmental work have already committed to over 100 posts before next spring, with about four hundred more likely in the very near future. The new funding is primarily targeting 18-24 year olds who have been on benefits for around ten months.

Council leader Lord Peter Smith, who led the Manchester-wide funding bid in his capacity as chair of AGMA, is delighted with the news for his home borough. Cllr Smith says: “We expect to see over 500 jobs here in Wigan Borough. And these are sustainable, long term positions which will be positions of real value in our community.”

This month Cllr Smith also launched a scheme to recruit around 100 apprentices of all ages to positions within Wigan Council itself.

Cllr Smith adds: “We are determined to make the most of this opportunity in Wigan, and the quality and sustainability of the training and jobs we create is vital. We’re looking to work with organisations that can provide an excellent track record of quality work with young people, and can demonstrate high levels of success in achieving long term, sustainable job outcomes.”

Officers have received approval in principal for additional match funding for extra training and support if needed. The funding could also be used to increase the length of job contracts available.

The council has discussed with several local partners including Inspire 2 Independence, ProCo, Groundwork and Green Apprentices (part of Arena Housing), who have made commitments to create several hundred additional jobs over the period of the programme.

And, in addition to its new apprentice scheme, Wigan Council has already agreed to support the Future Jobs Fund through its own recruitment process and working to create 70 additional jobs.

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