Hartlepool is to spearhead a programme to help improve the job prospects of thousands of young people in the region after securing almost £20m of funding.
Hartlepool Borough Council will manage the Youth Employment Initiative to help around 6,500 young people aged 15 to 29 get into education, employment, self-employment or training.
It is after the council secured £19.29m of European Union funding on behalf of 29 Tees Valley partner organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors including Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar & Cleveland and Darlington councils.
The initiative, which is already underway, will be managed by Hartlepool council’s Economic Regeneration Team, until July 31, 2018.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of Hartlepool’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “This is tremendous news for Hartlepool and the whole of the Tees Valley and it is a major achievement to land such a significant sum of money in the current economic climate.
“Everyone involved in this project is passionate about giving our young people the best possible start in their adult lives and this funding will help us to give our youngsters the skills, experience, encouragement and confidence to build successful careers.”
This funding will help us to give our youngsters the skills, experience, encouragement and confidence to build successful careersCouncillor Kevin Cranney
Most of the money, £17.6m, will fund Tees Valley Pathways, a project designed to help young people who are struggling to achieve their potential be given the skills that employers are looking for and offer participants support through a flexible learning and skills fund.
The final £1.69m will support Tees Valley Routeways which is said will provide young people with individually tailored routes into growth employment sectors such as advanced manufacturing, digital, logistics, low carbon and health and social care.
It will do this through a range of activities such as volunteering, internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.
The Youth Employment Initiative is part-funded by the European Social Fund with the Department for Work and Pensions as the managing authority.
Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton council’s cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “All of our young people can realise their full potential to succeed with the right support and guidance - this additional funding will make a real difference to help provide training and employment opportunities and give them the best possible chance to achieve their goals.”