Hartlepool bids for £20million to help young people into work

Hartlepool Borough Councillor Chris Simmons.
Hartlepool Borough Councillor Chris Simmons.

Hartlepool is leading a bid to clinch more than £20million to help young people back into work.

The borough council is heading a consortium to secure the Government cash to tackle youth unemployment in the Tees Valley.

If successful the cash could benefit more than 5,000 15-29-year-olds, helping them onto the career ladder.

The bid for the Youth Employment Initiative cash was discussed at Hartlepool Borough Council’s Children’s Services Committee this week.

Members were told that a decision about the bid was expected imminently and if successful the project would look to start in October.

Coun Chris Simmons, chairman of the committee, said it would be hoped it gets the go-ahead and added: “This is a very exciting project.”

The Youth Employment Initiative, YEI, was created by the European Commission in January 2013 to tackle high levels of youth unemployment across the member states.

It is worth a total of 6billion euros particularly aimed at supporting young NEETs, Not in Education Employment or Training, in regions where youth unemployment is 25% or above.

Hartlepool Borough Council has agreed to act as an accountable body for the consortium, which includes other local authorities and the Tees Valley FE Plus education organisation.

If successful and the full allocation is given the project would result in up to 16 full-time posts, including a programme manager, a project manager, delivery officers and administrators.

The aims of the scheme will be supported intervention for the young people taking part and gaining qualifications.

The Tees Valley group is bidding for cash to run Personalised Education Employment and Enterprise Pathways, which will deliver solutions for young people who are struggling to achieve or progress into a positive destination.

It would also support young people furthest away from the labour market by providing them with the skills they need to get into work as well as offering a flexible learning skills fund.

The group also hopes to clinch funding for tailored routeways for young people who are NEET into priority growth sectors, such as health and social care, by activities such as volunteering, internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.