Opportunity knocks for South West employment projects

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed nearly £14m of funding for projects that help people into paid employment. The money from Building Better Opportunities (BBO) announced has been allocated to four projects in the partnership area which covers Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.
The projects all aim to increase the employability of local young people and will deliver activities such as confidence building and coaching and improving digital and financial skills.
The HotSW LEP helped BBO by identifying key challenges in its communities and highlighting how BBO funding could help address them. BBO funding brings together money from the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund with the aim of stimulating economic growth.
“Our future economic success relies on having a thriving, active and engaged young workforce,” said Chris Garcia, Heart of the South West LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia.
“Getting into the world of work can be daunting, especially if you have been out of work for some time or have yet to start a career. These projects are about helping our young people prepare for work and develop some of the key skills they will need to succeed.
“Getting more local young people into work benefits everyone and I hope these projects will make a real difference to young lives.”
The four projects in the HotSW LEP area will see:
• £2.4m for employment support for 18 to 24-year-olds in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. Focussed on those furthest from the labour market, engaging with them and providing job search support, pre-employment training and mentoring.
• £1.7m for work with 15 to 18-year-olds in Devon, Plymouth Somerset and Torbay to support them into full-time education, employment or training. Will focus on most vulnerable and include support and information, and building links and partnerships with employers.
• £4m for employment support for people aged 18 and over in Somerset to get them into training, education and ultimately employment. Focussing on the most disadvantaged with outreach, advice and support such as money management training, digital skills, travel costs, coaching and mentoring.
• £5.1m for employment support for people 25 and over in Devon, Plymouth & Torbay, focussing on the most disadvantaged and building skills such as communication and digital knowledge.

For further information about the projects benefitting from the BBO funding, please contact the Building Better Opportunities Press office:  Press Office: 020 72111888 or visit https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf

Building Better Opportunities is jointly funded with the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, European Social Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, skills development, job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.