Jobless young people in Hartlepool given boost with £80,000 scheme

Damien Wilson
Damien Wilson

DOZENS of jobless young people are set to be offered a route into employment, training or work thanks to a new £80,000 project.

Hartlepool Borough Council is set to lead on the new Youth Contract project which aims to help 90 young people get a foot on the job ladder.

In August, the number of young people aged 18 to 24 claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) was 1,230, down from 1,255 in June, and the aim of the scheme is to help reduce those figures further.

Hartlepool council will be delivering the new Youth Contract project on behalf of Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG), which won the tender to deliver the Youth Contract across the North East of England.

The PPDG ran the contract from September 2012 to September this year with the council delivering it after that.

From September, Tees Valley Works (TVW), which is part of the council’s economic regeneration team, will deliver the project which aims to help 90 young people.

The aim is for at least 50 per cent to remain in “sustained training education or employment” and complete the minimum 180 “learning hours” on the programme.

The total funding available for the project is £82,785.

In 2011, the Government launched the Youth Contract which is a £1bn pot of money to support 16 to 24-year-olds into education, training or employment.

All those eligible must be over 16, not in education, employment or training and have either not achieved more than one GCSE grade A* to C, be a young offender, care leavers or serving a community sentence.

The council’s regeneration services committee will meet later this week to discuss the Youth Contract Project.

A report by Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director of regeneration, said: “There are no financial risks associated with the delivery of the Youth Contract as it is a payment on results project and as such, the council will not receive any funding until they have delivered the additional outcomes.”

Mr Wilson added: “The main risk in delivering projects for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET is that they will not engage.

“However, TVW has an excellent track record of designing and offering bespoke training programmes that meet the needs of this target group and which will enable the additional programme outcomes to be achieved.

“To ensure that the outcomes are achieved, the Youth Support Service and 11-19 Team will continue to effectively refer eligible young people to the project.

“In addition, TVW project team is currently in the process of working with partners to develop further initiatives that will encourage young people to register onto the project.”

The council’s regeneration services committee is due to meet on Thursday, at 9.30am at the Civic Centre, in Hartlepool.