02 Mar 2015

Jobseekers get a head start thanks to bar group

[Picture caption] Rio Robinson mixing it up after securing a job with Jones Bar Group through Head Start

Young jobseekers in Leeds have been mixing it up at some of the city’s top cocktail bars thanks to a council-run job support scheme.

Head Start, which is run by Leeds City Council, gives young people searching for jobs the chance to take up training and work experience placements with local employers.

The Jones Bar Group, which recently celebrated its 10th and most successful year in the industry, has found permanent jobs for young people through the scheme.

And now council chiefs have issued a rallying cry to other local firms, calling on them to give more of the city’s young people a chance.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“We’re looking for as many businesses like this as possible to support Head Start - they can really profit by giving young talent a chance.

“We want businesses to contact us about the scheme and find out how they can benefit while giving young people a chance to get back into employment.”

The family run Jones Bar Group owns Roxy Ball Rooms, Roxy Lanes and Brooklyn Bar as well as seven other well know city centre bars.

Matthew Jones, Managing Director of the Jones Bar Group, said:

“We’re keen to give back to the city and urge other businesses to do the same. We’re committed to Leeds. We were born and bred here and it has been kind to us.

“Head Start presents a financially secure way for Leeds businesses to expand their work force just as we have. It really removes the risk for businesses like ours as we get an extended period to see who we’re going to be employing.

“While we would normally take people who have stronger CVs we’ve found young people matched to our businesses very capable.”

The Head Start programme is designed to help unemployed people aged 18-24 find jobs by offering them supported work experience placements.

Head Start has seen the council work with a number of Leeds employers and is already having success turning work placements into jobs.

Work experience candidates get placements, generally up to six weeks long, including two weeks pre-employment training beforehand

They also get a CV workshop, help looking for work and guaranteed interview experience.

Leeds businesses wanting to get involved in the programme to provide placements or job vacancies can call 0113 3952905 or email head.start@leeds.gov.uk.

Notes to Editor:

Since January 67 young people have found work thanks to Head Start and 33 Leeds businesses have signed up to support the scheme. Local businesses interested in finding out how Head Start can benefit them can visit www.leeds.gov.uk/headstart, call 0113 3952905 or email head.start@leeds.gov.uk.

LAB is the ninth venue the bar group has opened in the past 10 years and joins six other bars in the Leeds city centre portfolio: Roxy Lanes, Roxy Ball Room, Hirst’s Yard, Brooklyn Bar, 51% Bourbon and The Shed Bar and well as Bar 166 and Bistro in Horsforth.


For further information please contact the Press Office on 0113 395 0244

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Leeds City Council Communications team