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Somerset - Funding reward for Neet success

Offenders, teenage parents and children in care will benefit from cash given to reward Somerset for being one of the best areas in the country for rates of young people in work or education.

The county has had one of the UK's lowest numbers of Neets - young people not in education, employment or training - for the past three years. The Department for Children, Schools and Families has now given #163;500,000 to Somerset County Council and the local Connexions service.

The funding will provide additional help to youths such as young offenders, teenage parents and those leaving the care system.

Rachel Bendall, chief executive of Connexions Somerset, said: "Staff have worked tirelessly, including weekends and evenings, to ensure that all young people maximised the opportunities available and to support (them) to realise their potential. This reward is a credit to all their hard work."

Councillor John Osman, Somerset County Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "This reward funding achievement represents a huge success for those working with young people and for young people themselves. We recognise the challenges that the economic downturn will bring and we now have additional resources to develop and provide support for all young people as they seek to make their way in the world." KM.

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