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Social mobility issues in Newark and Sherwood making progress

WORK to address problems of social mobility in Newark and Sherwood has made good progress, according to a new report.

A year-long £60,000 project, focussing on jobs, education and training to help 18-24 year-olds has been led by Newark and Sherwood District Council in conjunction with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and partners.

The project has also worked in secondary and primary schools and follows a Social Mobility Commission report on social mobility in November 2017, which identified the district as one of the least socially mobile areas in the country.

district council logo (13121453)
district council logo (13121453)

The report highlighted poor educational performance and a decline in traditional industries leaving a number of young people aged 18-24 with low skills and low aspirations.

But one key area of work to address this has involved 76 Newark job-seekers in that age range of whom nearly 85% gained employment or underwent training.

Year 10 students at Newark Academy were also assisted throughout the programme with help offered in developing employability skills, including applying for jobs, interviewing technique and transitioning from education to work.

The academy, along with the Magnus Church of England Academy, Newark, The Dukeries Academy, Ollerton, and Toot Hill School, Bingham, took part in the Farming School Project, in partnership with the Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society. This was aimed at introducing farming as a career choice for school-leavers with a series of farm visits taking place.

Keith Girling, chairman of the council’s economic development committee, said the project has worked hard on putting in place measures to help young people to become socially mobile and raise aspirations.

"As part of the council’s community plan which aims to reduce levels of deprivation and remove barriers to social mobility, our economic growth team is continuing to work with local employers and other partners building relationships, encouraging them to make links with the schools at all levels for the future of the young people in the district," he said.

“We will be looking at the possibility of future activities to continue the important work that is being done in this area to maximise the potential and opportunities for our young people.”

The council’s economic growth team worked with the DWP, Ambitions Personnel and Network Rail, whose Trackwork Project maintenance programme provided hands-on work experience.

In Ollerton and surrounding villages, a 100% success rate was achieved in ensuring ten job-seekers found employment, in partnership with Mansfield DWP and employment agencies.

And more than 300 year five and six pupils from six primary schools in Newark have been learning from the life skills education charity’s Dare prevention programme which highlights the dangers of drug abuse.

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