Young to boost economy

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Disadvantaged young people from Sheffield could add up to £275,000 to the city’s economy over the next three years, according to a report on a new charity enterprise scheme.

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme has supported 146 unemployed young people in South Yorkshire since its launch in November 2009.

A new report by The Prince’s Trust and the Citi Foundation, Today’s Young People; Tomorrow’s Economy, estimates the scheme so far could add up to £731,000 to the South Yorkshire economy over a three-year period - with a £275,000 boost to Sheffield alone.

With plans to support a further 100 young people before the end of the current financial year, the youth charity’s efforts could boost the regional economy by a further £500,800.

The figure takes into account the potential financial benefits of helping local young people into jobs or starting them up in business in terms of economic earnings.

On top of this figure, there are savings to the public purse in terms of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The youth charity is now urging local government, businesses and individuals to offer more support and funding to help thousands more young people across the region.

Despite the UK officially emerging from the recession more than a year ago, the number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Sheffield for a year or more is at a 13-year high, increasing almost tenfold since before the recession.

Samantha Kennedy, regional director for The Prince’s Trust in Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “The growing success of our Enterprise Programme shows young people here in Sheffield are very entrepreneurial.

“By harnessing their enthusiasm for enterprise, not only will the public purse save on Jobseeker handouts, but Sheffield’s economy stands to gain thousands through young peoples’ skills and talents.”

She added: “Now we need further funds to support more young people across the region, helping them escape long-term unemployment and poverty for good. Many of these young people will become the employers of tomorrow.”

The Prince’s Trust recently changed the way it supports unemployed 18 to 30-year-olds with their sights set on being their own boss.

The youth charity runs four-day Explore Enterprise courses to help young people work out if self-employment is right for them. Participants test their ideas and learn about finance and marketing.