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Thousands of young people being helped into work or training

Black Country Impact has now helped more than 6,000 young people into work or training, new figures have revealed.

The service offers help for 16 to 29-year-olds in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton who are currently not in employment, education or training.

It officially started just under two years ago and has also forged relationships with more than 100 businesses or training providers.

Support includes supplying equipment, as well as providing free clothing, travel, and childcare depending on the needs of the individual.

The help and assistance provided is tailored to individual need and support is also available for those with disabilities, ex-offenders and the homeless.

Dudley Council leads on the delivery of the service in partnership with Sandwell Council, Walsall Council, Wolverhampton Council and Black Country Talent Match, a Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council project funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Alan Lunt, strategic director for place and deputy chief executive at Dudley Council, said:

“Black Country Impact is doing an excellent job in giving young people a helping hand to better themselves or get back into work.

“Through specialised services ranging from coaching to managed work placements, the work of Black Country Impact ultimately gives young adults the best employability prospects for the future.”

The project is receiving up to £34 million of funding, made up of £17 million from the European Social Fund and £17 million from the Youth Employment Initiative. It will also get match funding of up to £8 million from the Big Lottery Fund and other partners.

There are a number of ways to contact the Black Country Impact including Facebook at www.facebook.com/BlackCountryImpact, Twitter by visiting @BC_Impact and other alternative such as email and telephone. To pick the way that suits you best and to find out more visit www.dudley.gov.uk/bcimpact

Ends

17 August 2018

Notes to editor:

1. European Social Fund – Youth Employment Initiative
The project is receiving up to £34 million of funding from the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and London intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

2. Black Country Impact project partners and overall funding allocation

The Black Country Impact is made up of five partners, Dudley Council, Sandwell Council, Walsall Council, Wolverhampton City Council and Black Country Talent Match (Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council project funded by the Big Lottery Fund). The specific breakdown of funding for the Black Country Impact project is made up of up to £17 million Youth Employment Initiative funding, £17 million European Social Fund and £17 million of match funding from the five Black Country partners (which also includes £8 million of match funds from the Big Lottery Fund). This brings the total value of Black Country Impact project to £51 million, with a completion date for activity of 31 July 2018.

3. Big Lottery Fund – match funders of the Black Country Impact project

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invests over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 the Big Lottery Fund has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year the Big Lottery Fund funds 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

4. Talent Match

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and focuses on youth unemployment and especially long-term youth unemployment. Black Country Talent Match is a five year, £10.3m project supporting young people aged 18-24 who have been out of work, training or education for at least 12 months and who require additional support to overcome specific barriers to employment. More information can be found at www.bctalentmatch.com. Talent Match is match funding up to £8 million towards the Black Country Impact project.