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School leavers offered help into work

As teenagers prepare to receive their GCSE results this week, those looking to move from school straight into the world of work are being urged to seek the help of Black Country Impact.

It has forged close links with more than 100 businesses or training providers. As a result, Black Country Impact has already assisted more than 4,000 people to get a job or the training to gain lifelong skills and trades.

The service offers help for 16 to 29-year-olds who are currently not in employment, education or training. Support includes supplying equipment, as well as providing free clothing, travel, and childcare depending on the needs of the individual.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the 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.”

Black Country Impact offers a number of specialised services, ranging from coaching to managed work placements.

The project is receiving up to £34 million of funding, made up of £17 million European Social Fund and £17 million Youth Employment Initiative, plus match funding of up to £8m from the Big Lottery Fund and funding from 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 alternatives 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

Notes to editors

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 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 £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. What is the Black Country Impact

The Black Country Impact programme addresses the barriers faced by unemployed individuals aged 15-29 years, supporting them to secure positive outcomes including employment, apprenticeships, training and further education. Our individualised approach and alternative delivery structures provides flexible personalised learning and support that addresses the range of different personal and skills needs of young adults. Access to trusted advice and support, working alongside partners including housing, health, transport and employers to ensure individuals have the best possible opportunity to overcome the range of barriers they face, and to ensure they effectively participate, achieve a positive outcome and remain engaged.