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New cash injection to help young improve their skills and job prospects

Extra funding is being targeted at a number of regions and cities in the UK to help young people boost their skills and find work, the government has announced.

The Youth Employment Initiative, a new £170 million programme, is designed to help young people aged 15-24 into employment.

It will fund new youth employment programmes in inner London, Merseyside, south west Scotland, the Tees Valley and Durham, and the West Midlands.

In addition, a small amount of funding is being targeted at smaller regions where youth unemployment is also high, namely Hull, Leicester, Nottingham and Thurrock.

The cash will be used to extend apprenticeships, work experience placements and youth entrepreneurship programmes.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said: “There are an increasing number of young people in jobs, and youth unemployment is falling, but there is always more we can do. This new funding will help our long-term economic plan to make sure young people have what it takes – the skills, knowledge, and behaviour – to get the jobs that are increasingly available.”

Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, welcomed the news. “We recognise that, while employment figures are generally moving in the right direction, there are still areas which could benefit from a localised approach to the support needed,” he said.

“Our view is that the Youth Employment Initiative should be closely linked with existing national and local programmes as part of an overall drive to see integration between employment support and skills training programmes. 

“New provision should add value to schemes that are already in place rather than ‘crowd out’ or cause duplication.”

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