PLANS to create a youth hub offering careers advice, training, jobs, resources, mentoring and help with mental health are under development in the wake of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on youth employment levels.
A local spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said such hubs were a work in progress and could either be virtual based or office based.
His comments came as the effect of Covid-19 on the youth job market was laid bare by the latest figures from the DWP.
The statistics, up to May 2020, show massive increases in claimant counts, but particularly among young people aged 18 to 24.
Worst hit is Wychavon District which has seen youth unemployment soar by 229 per cent, an increase of 206 to 677 over the same period last year.
Overall the claimant count for both young people and adults is also up, to 3,810, a rise of 1,389 over last year, or 174 per cent.
In Bromsgrove District youth claimant figures increased by 159 per cent to 463, a rise of 179 while the number for all claimants went from 1,607 to 2,790, and increase of 136 per cent.
In Worcester City the number of claimants aged 18 to 24 increased by 137 per cent, rising by 303 to 717.
The overall figure for claimants increased by 118 per cent from 2,165 to 4,000.
Only Redditch Borough bucked the trend, with adult claimants being the worst hit.
There the number of young claimants also increased – by 93 per cent – from 316 to to 611, with overall claimants rising by 116 per cent to 3,560 from 1,649.
“What we can say is that the increase in claimants has slowed down, to 3.8 per cent in the West Midlands,” said the spokesperson.
He added to address the issue local Job Centres were working with employers and running a series of ‘sector based academies’ to improve the skills of those out of work.
“We find that what employers look for, as well as the qualifications, is ‘what have you done during the period you have been out of work to improve your skill levels?'” he said.