More than 100 young people have been supported to move away from unemployment and into learning and the workplace thanks to a successful initiative.
Wiltshire Council has part funded a Key Worker Support programme which involves working on a 1:1 basis with young people who are unemployed, Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET.
Over 18 months 108 young people aged 16 to 24 received consistent 1:1 key worker support as they searched for jobs, accessed learning opportunities, gained skills and accredited awards to prepare for life in the workplace.
The young people had the opportunity to access apprenticeships, part time learning and employment with training as well as intensive support to improve their ability to make informed career choices. A total of 388 accredited awards were achieved by the young people recognising their progression in practical, academic and vocational skills. The project was run by Youth Action Wiltshire the ‘youth arm’ of local charity Community First. They worked with a range of young people from a variety of backgrounds including those who were NEET or in significant danger of becoming NEET. Beneficiaries of the project included young people with low academic attainment, young carers, young people with learning difficulties or disabilities and those in danger of offending. At the end of the project 87 young people gained accreditation, 69 young people moved out of the NEET bracket back into education, employment and training (EET) and 15 young people referred to the project in significant danger of NEET have remained in employment, education or training. The current scheme built on the success of an earlier pilot Key Worker Support Programme which supported more than 100 young people in 2013/14. Fleur de Rhe-Philipe, cabinet member responsible for economic development and skills said: “There are times when you can be at a crossroads and unsure what path to choose – and this can be particularly true for young people. Having the right support and guidance has clearly helped these young people choose the positive way forward and I’m hoping they will continue to achieve.” Steve Crawley Head Of Youth Action Wiltshire said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with the team from Skills4Success, I would like to thank Action For Wiltshire, The Blagrave Trust, Weston College, the National Lottery, GreenSquare Housing, Aster Housing, our fundraising committee and all our supporters who have backed this hugely successful initiative. The results are due to the dedication and skill of our staff team and the hard work of all of the young people involved.”