As the local economy emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown, a Kent & Medway Employment Task Force has been launched bringing together senior figures from the public and private sectors to support local people without a job into work.
Close links have already been forged with the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus, responsible for delivery of the Government’s Plan for Jobs and the new £2b Kickstart programme for young people at risk of long-term unemployment, to improve their chances of finding long-term, sustainable work.
Speaking at the Kent County Council meeting earlier today, KCC Leader and Employment Task Force Chairman Roger Gough said:
“The Kent & Medway Employment Task Force has a major role to play in linking local businesses with people seeking employment. The career opportunities of young people in Kent in particular have been hit hard by Covid-19 and we intend to do all that we can to support them.
“With colleagues from across the private and public sectors and with local MPs, we will work with the Government and Jobcentre Plus to identify new opportunities for employment, skills development and work experience.
“We will support people at risk of having their working lives or career hopes dashed and instead help to fire new ambitions and to enable them to find new and rewarding jobs”.
Deputy Chairman of the Task Force and Medway Council Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships, Cllr Rodney Chambers added “We are committed to doing everything we can to help support local businesses and people at risk of long-term unemployment. The Kent & Medway Employment Task Force will be imperative in helping residents access training opportunities, upskill and find work.
We will continue to work closely with our partners at KCC, Jobcentre Plus and the DWP as well as local businesses and education providers to provide help, support and advice to residents who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Task Force group was a major action from the Kent & Medway Resilience & Renewal Plan launched in August and will build on previous successful experience of local employment support programmes. Work has already begun with a focus on key sectors and co-ordination of activity across the county.
The Employment Task Force will meet for the first time officially on 1st October, 2020.
Notes to editors
- Roger Gough was speaking at the Kent County Council meeting on 10th September. His full speech is available on the webcast https://democracy.kent.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=113&MId=8457
- Draft terms of Reference for the Employment Task Force can be found in the Kent & Medway Resilience and Renewal Plan (p25): https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/112280/Economic-Renewal-and-Resilience-Plan-Backing-Jobs-and-Businesses-Plan.pdf
- Full details of the Government’s Kickstart programme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme.