Up to 6,000 young people are to benefit after Durham County Council secured £17m to help them on their pathway to employment.
In June 2015, the authority submitted a bid for £17.04m funding through the European Council’s Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).
And now the DurhamWorks project has been given the green light for a two and a half year programme to develop skills and increase opportunities for 16 to 24-year-olds living in County Durham, who are not in education, employment or training.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Securing £17 million is fantastic news and means that we will be able to improve not only the immediate but the longer-term economic opportunities and career prospects of thousands of young people in the county.”
“It will also mean that we will be able to introduce new and innovative ideas alongside more tried and tested ways of working to ensure we benefit those people who most need our help.”
According to the latest figures, from June 2015, 19% of all 16-24 year olds living in the county are not in employment, education or training.
This new funding, made up of £12.78m of YEI, European Social Fund funding and £4.26m in match funding, has been made available to the county to try and help around 5,830 young people progress into work, training, education or volunteering by summer 2018.
In partnership with 16 organisations, including the voluntary and community sector, private training providers, a college, Jobcentre Plus and the Federation of Small Businesses, we will use the funding to offer support and guidance tailored to the young person’s needs.
DurhamWorks looks to develop the skills of local young people and work with local employers to create opportunities including, work experience, employment, traineeships, apprenticeships and other training opportunities; as well as supporting young people to become self-employed.