LANCASHIRE County Council has successfully won a two-year contract to support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The bid for the European Social Fund (ESF) funding was led by Lancashire County Council and covers the adjoining local authority areas of Blackburn, Blackpool and Cumbria.
Nearly £2m will be spent to support 1000 young people across these areas between the ages of 14 and nineteen. The money will also be used to support people with disabilities or learning disabilities up to the age of 24, who are NEET or are at risk of becoming NEET.
Lancashire County Council currently delivers ESF-funded provision for NEET young people in Lancashire. The existing scheme is nearing conclusion and has exceeded all targets. Lancashire County Council’s success in being awarded the new contract will mean that young people in Lancashire, with the addition of Blackburn, Blackpool and Cumbria, will continue to receive help and support for an additional two years.
Under the new contract which will start in the next couple of weeks, the county council will continue to work with key partner organisations including further education colleges, work-based learning providers and voluntary and community groups. Young people will be involved in learning and partners will work with them to keep them engaged and support their progress into further education or employment with training.
Activities will be designed to help young people gain a greater understanding of their own abilities, learning needs and the range of opportunities available to them.
This will include support with:
- One-to-one mentoring, assessment and! information
- An individual programme of support and training
- Advice and guidance sessions to identify any problems with learning or work
- Literacy, numeracy and ICT skills that will build competence
- Work experience and ‘job sampling’ with interviews and career planning support
As the organisation leading the bid, the county council will work closely with the other local authorities and all training providers to manage the help and advice services for the young people in all areas.
Matthew Tomlinson, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said:
“This is great news for young people in Lancashire, Blackburn, Blackpool and Cumbria.
“So far, the current initiative has supported nearly 2,000 young people. More than half of those students have received an accredited achievement, and 881 have progressed into further education, full-time education, training or employment.
“Making sure that young people don’t lose out on education or training opportunities is one of my highest priorities. This new contract will enable us to build on the excellent work colleagues in the young people’s service and other organisations have done so well with in recent years.
“These are very challenging times for young people but I am confident that, by working in close partnership with other organisations, we can improve young people’s prospects as they develop the necessary skills to compete for employment.”
For further information please contact: Tom Walker on 01772 534372