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Plans to help South East's unemployed

Jonathan Shaw
Jonathan Shaw
Jim Brathwaite
Jim Brathwaite

Business leaders from across the South East used the second meeting of the South East Economic Delivery Council (SEEDC) to highlight the challenges facing the region.

Jonathan Shaw, South East Regional Minister, and the other members of SEEDC heard how increased take-up of Train to Gain is helping deliver the region's skills needs at a crucial time.

They also heard how more than 3,000 businesses in the South East have already benefited from the new business health checks provided through Business Links.

However, business leaders also highlighted the impact that economic conditions are having on confidence in the regional economy, particularly in key sectors such as housing.

SEEDC considered a plan setting out a joined-up approach to supporting unemployed and newly-redundant workers throughout the South East.

Jonathan Shaw said: "Helping the newly unemployed or those facing redundancy to move swiftly into a new job requires a co-ordinated effort from a number of key partners - including SEEDA, JobCentre plus, the Learning and Skills Council, Local Authorities and all employers.

"Together we are working on a joint recovery plan to co-ordinate the use of all funds, including European Social Fund money and Train to Gain funding, to assist companies and individuals affected by redundancies."

Jim Brathwaite said: "We are delighted to be ready with this new joined up, practical approach to address these issues at such a critical time.

"Train to Gain is already working well to meet training needs much more flexibly than in the past.

"We have expanded our Continuing Employment Support Service, a joint SEEDA and Jobcentre Plus programme, which already works in partnership with main government agencies to offer a free, tailored, in-house package of support to all affected workers before they leave their employment, thus negating the need in many cases to access benefits.

"Our 40-70 Tomorrow's Workforce South East programme for older workers and employers aims to retain more older workers through reskilling, flexible employment and to return more older workers when they have left as a result of redundancy."

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