Lancashire

Lancashire young people projects £3.5m European grant

A £3.5m grant has been awarded to training and education projects that help young people in Lancashire.

The county council secured the European Social Fund grant to help 14 to 18-year-olds not in employment, education or training.

It will also be used on projects to involve young people with learning difficulties up to the age of 24.

The council provides support for 1,600 young people, and the grant will be used to help them as early as possible.

It will be used to help fund mentoring, advice sessions, literacy and numeracy training, drug and alcohol awareness, and personal budgeting.

'Fully-engaged'

"The good thing about this additional funding is that it won't just be used to provide support services for young people who aren't in work or college, but it will also be targeted at young people who are at risk of being unemployed or not in further education," said Councillor Mark Perks, who is responsible for young people's services.

"If we can identify early those young people who are showing signs of being disaffected at school, then hopefully we can minimise the risk of them not receiving an education or training and doing nothing once they leave.

"In my experience, most of the young people I meet do have aspirations and ambitions.

"One of the aims of this funding is to make sure they remain fully engaged while they're in school and don't fall by the wayside."

Lancashire County Council has to cut its spending by 26% over four years, forcing a budget reduction of £71.6m between 2011 and 2012 and total saving of £179m by 2014.

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