Government services contractor Capita is set to create 280 new jobs in Birmingham after taking over the controversial Education Maintenance Allowance and launching a new recycling scheme.

Capita, which runs Service Birmingham, will operate the contract through one of its other divisions in Birmingham.

The company already runs the city council’s information systems and is working on the authority’s massive business transformation effeciency drive.

Now it is set to run the EMA, the £30 per week grant paid to 16-18 year-old students from low income families, after the Government stripped previous company Liberata of the contract following major hold ups which left thousands of teenagers out of pocket.

City council deputy leader Paul Tilsley welcomed their achievement as a major boost during the economic downturn.

He said: “It’s pleasing to be able to bring some good news at this time. Capita is creating 80 jobs in Birmingham with a new recycling operation for IT equipment.

“But the best is now to come as Capita has been awarded the EMA contract which will bring 200 jobs to Birmingham at a time when everybody is hard pushed.”