Axed funding helped youths

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A LANGLEY MILL organisation which carries out work for elderly and disabled people across Derbyshire has slammed the Government’s decision to axe the Future Jobs Fund (FJF).

The fund, which ceased taking applications last month, was offered through the Job Centre to young people out of work to enable them to join six-month placements at organisations like Groundwork Derbyshire.

According to land and maintenance co-ordinator Mark Street, the scheme has seen 40 of the 100 applicants in the last two years go straight into employment in construction, with some getting jobs at Groundwork and Three Valleys Housing.

“Without a doubt it has been more of a success than a failure,” he said.

“The loss of FJF will be a loss to the whole area and definitely to the communities around here.

“It’s all about getting young people into work and that’s what it has done.”

Mark said one of the main positives of the scheme was to give applicants the same rights as employees.

Callum Fowkes, 21, of Heanor, is one of the last applicants to receive the funding after he had been unemployed for a year.

He has now been offered a job as assistant supervisor at Groundwork.

He said: “FJF takes you on even if you’ve got problems at home and it helps you with your work.

“It just gives you a better future and more to look forward to in life.”