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Start 2017 with improved employment prospects

If you're 16 to 29 and living in the Black Country you can get your 2017 off to a flying start with support from the Black Country Impact, who are having great success in helping young adults make a successful transition from unemployment and inactivity to education and working life.

The Black Country Impact is helping young adults overcome barriers to employment by providing a tailored programme, designed to help the individual build a future in a way that suits their circumstances. This includes being provided with a key worker or mentor trained to support the young adult through their journey, supporting with employability and skills, providing advice and guidance. Support can also include help with travel, childcare and equipment, making it simple to start a job or training.

Councillor Pete Lowe, Leader of Dudley Council, said:

“Since the Black Country Impact formally launched last year it has been busy building relationships with local employers, training providers and educators and is delighted to announce that hundreds of young adults are already having a difference made to their lives.

“I would strongly encourage both local businesses and 16 to 29 year olds across the Black Country to get involved with the Black Country Impact to improve employment prospects across both the borough and region. You could be the next success.”

The project, led by Dudley Council and delivered in partnership with neighbouring Black Country Council’s and Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council’s Talent Match, has been designed to give our young adults a depth of service that would not ordinarily be available to them. Services that include supporting and improving the young adult's employability, which is tailored to the individual and can even include personal and basic skills. The project’s overall aim is to continually reduce those young adults not in education, employment or training, which ultimately will improve the local labour market.

The Black Country Impact project has only been possible due to the financial support of the European Union’s European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative, and further funding through Talent Match funders, the Big Lottery Fund. In total, funders have enabled a package of up to £51 million to be made available for young adults across the Black Country.

The difference the project is making is best explained by the people that it helps. Nathen, a 20 year old participant with the Black Country Impact, said:

“When I was unemployed I felt like I lacked purpose and prospects. When I tried to change my circumstance it felt like a vicious cycle where I could not get the opportunities I needed to do the job that suits me. And now, the Black Country Impact has got the young person’s interest at its heart, encouraging young adults to embrace their interest and get a job out of it.”

Black Country Impact ensures that individuals like Nathen have the best possible opportunity to overcome the range of barriers they face, to improve their readiness for work. This is achieved through traineeships, apprenticeships, work placements and many other options that may work for the individual.

If you are looking to kick start your employment prospects for 2017 you can get in touch with the Black Country Impact by visiting www.dudley.gov.uk/bcimpact . Alternatively, individuals interested in joining the Black Country Impact programme can call 01384 813975.


Notes to editor

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

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.

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.

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.