From education to employment

New programme targets Herefordshire and Worcestershire NEETs

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are the target of a new programme to help them find their feet.

4U, funded by the Learning and Skills Council’s and West Midlands Leaders Board’s regional European Social Fund (ESF) programme, offers mostly one-to-one support and flexible, hands-on training to hard-to-reach young people, the majority between 16 and 18 years old.

Mark Badger, the chief executive of Motov8, one of a consortium of training providers from across the two counties supporting the scheme, believes the new programme is already having an impact.

"The 4U programme is very positive as it provides young people with an alternative route into training and allows us to work with individuals we may not have reached otherwise," says Mr Badger.

"Motov8 works with some of the hardest to reach young people across the region, providing vocational training in motor vehicle maintenance and repair to engage and encourage a change in attitude towards training and employment. Motov8 is a recognised Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) centre, so all the training we provide leads to certified qualifications to work within the motor industry."

4U is being managed by Worcester College of Technology, and hopes to support more than 150 young people over a period of 18 months. It seeks to help a variety of often complex issues, such as social exclusion and anti-social behaviour.

Zelma Williams, deputy head of faculty at Worcester College of Technology, says: "There are a number of reasons why young people in our region find themselves without a placement or job. These range from low self-esteem and long-term health problems, to substance abuse and crime. As the number of at-risk young people in Herefordshire and Worcestershire increases and the job market becomes more competitive, it is more important than ever that the right provision is available.

"4U aims to do just that, providing flexible tailored support to young people and acting as a stepping stone to a better future."

The ESF programme is providing £22m across the West Midlands to support more than 7,000 vulnerable and disaffected young people.

(Pictured: Mark Badger, chief executive of Motov8)


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