Published: 24/07/2012 08:00

NEET idea to help get young 'off scrapheap'

Written byROB SMYTH

A PIONEERING scheme to get people not in education or employment back on their feet is set to take place in Burton and South Derbyshire.

More than £126 million is being made available across the country by the Government in an effort to help 16 to 17-yearolds classified as Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs).

Burton and South Derbyshire College, in connection with Prospects Limited, will be helping to organise the scheme for youngsters in the area.

Organisations will receive an initial payment for taking young people on, but will only receive subsequent payments when they show progress, such as getting young people to engage with training programmes or undertake apprenticeships.

The contracts on offer are worth up to £2,200 for every young person helped, with the full amount payable only if a young person is still in full-time education, training or work with training six months after they have taken part in the scheme.

The programme is the first to use payment by results to help those identified as being ‘in need’.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Young people who have fallen through the net need tailored support to get back on track.

“We can’t treat them like round pegs being forced into square holes — if you’re young and have got to the point where you feel on the scrapheap, you need extra help to succeed in life.

“Disengaged young people often have complex problems that act as a barrier to getting them learning again, which the Government alone can’t deal with. But very often local charities and businesses know what’s going to help them.

“That’s why we’re unlocking funding for these organisations to be as creative and innovative as they can, to do whatever it takes, to get the young people who need it most back on their feet.

“In exchange for this freedom, all we ask is that they get results.

“It’s a win-win for government, young people and the organisations involved.” The programme, to take place over the next three years, will focus on at least 55,000 16 to 17-year-old NEETs with no GCSEs at A* to C grade, who are at the highest risk.

It is intended to improve their experience and qualifications, to give them a better chance of finding work and so reduce the proportion who become unemployed in adult life.

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