Partners involved in tackling unemployment in young people came together in Hartlepool to welcome a massive funding boost.
Local councils, voluntary and private organisations from across Tees Valley hailed the potential of the £19.28 million Youth Employment Initiative.
The only people who benefit and rightly so are the young people so everybody winsDenise Odgen, Hartlepool Borough Council
Representatives attended a formal launch at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience today.
The programme will be managed by Hartlepool council, which successfully bid for the European Union money, and will fund two schemes to support thousands of people aged 15 to 29 into work, training or education over the next two years.
Denise Ogden, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods for Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “All the Tees Valley authorities do different things when it comes to youth employment.
“This brings us all together so we can share that skills base and different routeways, best practice and learn from each other.
“The only people who benefit and rightly so are the young people so everybody wins.” The funding will provide the Tees Valley Pathways programme to provide personalised education, employment and enterprise opportunities plus support tailored to each individual.
It will also fund Tees Valley Routeways to offer work and study opportunities with employers in growth areas such as construction, advanced manufacturing and logistics.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of Hartlepool’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “This shows people do want to work in partnership.
“We are all trying to get the same end result which is better outcomes for young people in the Tees Valley.”
Mark Ladyman of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said the new funding will complement the work of a task force set up to support steelworkers who lost their jobs when SSI collapsed last year.
He said: “I feel this is a real opportunity to complement all the good work local authorities are doing and together with the voluntary and private sector organisations I’m sure this will be a success.”
Hartlepool New Deal for Communities (NDC) Trust is one of the project delivery partners, providing hands-on construction training and experience.
Manager Stuart Drummond said: “For us this new funding will help to get more people through our training programmes.
“The big challenge is going to be finding jobs at the other end, no matter who the young people work with. There needs to be a focus on that.”
The Youth Employment Initiative is partly funded by the European Social Fund and Investment Growth Programme in England.