Extra funding to help young people into work and apprenticeships

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Out of work young people are to get extra help to find a job or apprenticeship with local businesses thanks to a £500,000 grant to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Youth unemployment is a growing challenge with around 1 in 7 young adults not in education or work, which can have a long-term impact on their employment and earnings.

Getting into the labour market is particularly challenging for young people in the region’s most deprived areas, young people with poorer levels of educational attainment, for care leavers, young people with disabilities and for those from some ethnic minority groups.  

The grant, from the government’s £2.6bn UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), will help support young people with their finances. This, in addition to practical support already offered through the Path 2 Apprenticeships programme, will help provide a full package of support to ease young people into work.

Mayor Andy Street and Kevin Davis, Chairman of the Ladder School at the launch of the Path 2 Apprenticeships programme

Mayor Andy Street and Kevin Davis, Chairman of the Ladder School at the launch of the Path 2 Apprenticeships programme

Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, Andy Street, said: “Not enough young people are being connected to the new job opportunities being created by our growing economy and youth unemployment sadly remains an issue of concern for our region.

“This funding from UKSPF will help tackle that issue and will give young people the financial support they need to access good employment opportunities while providing a pipeline of future talent for local businesses.”

Cllr George Duggins, WMCA portfolio lead for skills and productivity and leader of Coventry City Council, said: “I am pleased that additional support through a bursary is being made available for young people in our region.

“Supporting them to access apprenticeship opportunities and connecting them to local businesses will help secure good employment and enhance career prospects, helping to strengthen our region’s economy.”

The bursary will support employers to securing future talent by enabling economically inactive young people fulfil apprenticeship vacancies, connecting young people to SMEs and strengthening career opportunities. The programme will complement the existing business support offered by BGWM and working in collaborations with Youth Employment UK.

19 to 24 year olds who are economically inactive will be offered the opportunity to secure an apprenticeship with a bursary to help boost their employability skills and to gain experience, supporting attendance, subsistence and work/attire and equipment.

At the end of the pre-apprenticeship, providers will also support the young person with the transition into the apprenticeship.

WMCA are piloting this work with a view to gain insight on what works and to develop further programmes to support our young unemployed people. 

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