Plans to secure nearly £18m to tackle youth unemployment in County Durham are to be considered.
A report outlining an action plan to secure Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding will go before Durham County Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday (10 June).
A total of £17.87m, made up of £13.4m of YEI funding and £4.47m match funding, is available to the county to help young people who are struggling to find work.
The Youth Employment Initiative was set up by the European Council in 2013 to tackle unemployment among young people aged 15 to 24.
Latest figures show that there are 8,400 out of work 16 to 24 year olds in County Durham and 2,085 18 to 24 year olds claiming Job Seekers Allowance.
An activity group made up of various local partners, including voluntary and community organisations, colleges, Jobcentre Plus, the County Durham Youth Offending Service and Youth Contract and Work Programme providers, has come up with various measures to deal with youth unemployment, which include:
- Individual guidance and support.
- Specific programmes to help vulnerable young people.
- Creating employment, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities and work experience.
These measures aim to get around 5,500 young people in the county into work, training or education, the report states.
The funding bid is being led by Durham County Council, which has identified £2.15m of match funding available.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Durham County Council, said: “By securing the full £17.87m we will be able to improve the immediate and longer-term economic, social and health prospects of thousands of young people in the county.
“It would also mean that we would be able to introduce new and innovative ideas alongside more tried and tested models.”
The report recommends that Cabinet notes the progress in developing an initial application for the Youth Employment Initiative in the county.