New opportunities for Hampshire and Surrey young people confirmed with European funding boost

A successful Hampshire County Council-led partnership programme which currently helps vulnerable young people in the Solent area into work and training will expand after receiving a major boost from the European Social Fund

Feb 13 2019

The £2.6 million funding will enable support and opportunities for young people who are not in education, training or employment (NEET) to be extended beyond the Solent area, in to North Hampshire and Surrey. The money will be invested in intensive support for young people who may otherwise miss out on work experience, traineeships and apprenticeships.

Councillor Stephen Reid, Executive Member for Education and Skills, Human Resources and Performance, welcomed the announcement. He said: “This joint bid builds on our existing NEET programme within the Solent area, expanding it to the north of Hampshire and in to Surrey. The funding will enable a seamless continuation of our existing work and the winning formula of interventions and support can now be extended to a further 1,600 vulnerable young people.

“These young people from the age of 15 will be assisted into funded work placements, traineeships and apprenticeships through intensive adviser support and practical activities. We already offer a wide range of support for young people and this funding will ensure that these vital services continue to reach out to those most at risk of not securing qualifications or progressing into work.”

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to ensure that young people participate in education or training after the age of 16 when they leave secondary school; and to provide additional support to those up to the age of 18 who are outside work and education, or at risk of becoming NEET.

The expanded programme will run from April 2019 until July 2021 and will involve working closely with employers in key sectors to create new career opportunities for the participants, as well as providing support through Hampshire’s careers and employability service.The County Council bid was made in partnership with the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and Surrey local authorities and covers the Solent and EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas. LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses which look at economic priorities to boost economic growth and job creation within their area.