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Ipswich Mygo centre for young job-seekers set to close at the end of March

PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:50 05 March 2018

All smiles in 2014: The official opening of the MyGo Youth Employment Centre in Ipswich. Paul Winter (chair of City Deal Board) cuts the ribbon. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

All smiles in 2014: The official opening of the MyGo Youth Employment Centre in Ipswich. Paul Winter (chair of City Deal Board) cuts the ribbon. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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Ipswich Mygo centre which has helped thousands of young people find jobs over the last three and a half years is to close at the end of the month after its funding ran out.

Iain Duncan Smith MP (centre) visited Mygo shortly after it opened in 2014 - praising its work in finding jobs for young people in Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKERIain Duncan Smith MP (centre) visited Mygo shortly after it opened in 2014 - praising its work in finding jobs for young people in Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER

And the future of the Lowestoft Mygo centre also looks uncertain – it is due to lose funding at the end of the year and it is unclear whether it can continue.

The centres are administered by Suffolk County Council with money from specific grants – including the EU Social Fund.

A spokesman said the fact that Brexit was on the horizon was a factor in meaning this funding stream was turned off, making it impossible for the county to keep the Mygo centre in Princes Street open.

However that did not satisfy Labour spokesman for children and young people Jack Abbott. He said: “I think that’s a bit of buck-passing. This is an incredibly valuable service for the young people who use it and if the council had wanted to keep it going they could have found funding from reserves for a year or so.”

Mygo in Ipswich opened with a flourish at the end of 2014 with a visit from then Work and Pensions’ Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. He said: “This is the beginning of a real success story for Ipswich. It’s going to be what people talk about – they are going to be talking about ‘the Ipswich experience’.”

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for young people Gordon Jones said: “Unfortunately the current contract with PeoplePlus to deliver the MyGo service in Ipswich finishes at the end of this month.

“It is certainly frustrating that, alongside our partners in the Department for Work and Pensions, Ipswich Borough Council and other local authorities across Suffolk, we have not be able to secure additional funding for the future of this service in its current form, but I want to make it clear we continue to be committed to supporting local young people to secure a positive future.

He said MyGo would continue to support all those young people who currently have a MyGo Coach on an appointment basis.

He added: “The MyGo team are providing other young people with a signposting service, ensuring they are aware of the full range of other services that are available to them to provide information and advice regarding their future employment plans.

“These services include Job Centre Plus, the Council’s own Early Help service, as well as local providers such as colleges, Talent Match, Princes Trust and through the National Careers Services.

“Although Fraser House will no longer provide a walk-in facility they will signpost any young person who asks for help, and a walk in service and job search facilities will be available at the Job Centre, located on Silent Street.

“We have found that for some young people, a community-based approach is more effective than a walk-in service, particularly with young people who are not comfortable, or able to visit a centre like MyGo. We will also carry on providing local community support to through MyGo for those already with a coach. The MyGo website will also be maintained to provide signposting over the coming months. Together with our central government and local authority partners we are currently developing future plans to deliver services across Suffolk to provide a long term solution. There will be no loss of service for those who need support.”

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