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Two programmes aiming to cut youth unemployment will continue

Two European Union funded schemes will continue in Bridgend County Borough until 2022 to help support more than 1,000 young people who are not in education, employment or training, or have the potential to be in that situation soon.

Cabinet Members from Bridgend County Borough Council have agreed to extend both the Inspire 2 Work and Inspire 2 Achieve programmes in local communities for another four years.

Using funding from the European Social Fund, the two programmes provide specialist support so that young people can overcome any barriers that are preventing them from leading more productive lives.

Both programmes have made a positive impact in Bridgend County Borough so far.

Since it began locally in January 2017, the Inspire 2 Work programme has worked with 188 young people aged 16 to 24 years old. Of the 131 participants successfully engaged with the programme, 66 per cent have either found work or progressed on to training or further education.

The Inspire 2 Achieve programme helps younger people aged 11 to 24 who are in education or training but are at risk of dropping out for various reasons.

Since the programme started locally during the 2015/16 academic year, the number of young people who aren’t in work or accessing further education after leaving statutory schooling has halved.

A total of 555 vulnerable young people have been referred to receive the intensive support offered by Inspire 2 Achieve during that time.

Both of these schemes have made a difference to hundreds of young people’s lives in recent years so we are very pleased to approve their extension.

The outcomes achieved so far demonstrate the importance of early, tailored interventions. Reducing youth unemployment and inactivity is obviously a complex process but we are confident that these two schemes will make a positive and sustained impact.

Councillor Charles Smith, the council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education

Both Inspire 2 Work and Inspire 2 Achieve are led by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council on behalf of other partners including Bridgend County Borough Council, Careers Wales, Bridgend College, Coleg Gwent, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and Torfaen County Borough Council.

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