European Social Fund
In the South West we will be working closely with the Skills Funding Agency and our local authorities to make sure that ESF funding is used to target key areas of need. The Skills Funding Agency will be the co-financing organisation and manage all procurement and contracts for 14-19 provision; the YPLA will work with local authorities to understand the local needs and make sure that appropriate learning is sourced.
As the next two years lead up to the point of raising the participation age (to 17 in 2013 and then to 18 in 2015), one of the focuses of ESF funding during this period will be on young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) and those who are at risk of joining the NEET group.
Projects already underway in the region and targeting the NEET group include:
the ReEngage programme, which provides comprehensive, tailored packages of learning and support for 16-19 year olds;
Resolve2, a partnership between Wiltshire College and North Wessex Training, which aims to reduce the number of NEETs both in the rural areas of Wiltshire and in the deprived inner town areas; and
the Somerset Rural Youth Project, a collaboration of statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies across Somerset, which provides an IAG service and a range of employability and life skills programmes for 14 – 19 year olds at risk of becoming NEET.