General, Investing in our schools, Young people

Plan for skills centres to get young people on career ladder

Hundreds of young people will be helped to get on the career ladder under plans unveiled by Surrey County Council.

The authority aims to open a network of skills centres to combat the number of young people not in education, employment or training.

Around 20* are expected to be run from the council’s youth centres to help those classed as NEET get the basic skills they need to find work, secure a further education place or fill an apprenticeship.

Bids are currently being invited from colleges and training firms to run classes at centres to help young people get basic vocational training and pick up job application and CV writing skills.

It is just one of the ways Surrey is transforming young people’s services as part of the council’s new ‘one team’ approach, which seeks out ways to harness the expertise of other organisations for the benefit of Surrey.

This has already seen community organisations take over the running of activities at 31 youth centres and each of Surrey’s 11 local committees being given up to £200,000 a year for grassroots activities or projects agreed with young people.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Although the number of NEETs in Surrey is very low compared to the national average, it is important we do all we can to create jobs and opportunities to prepare today’s young people for a successful future. By working as one team with other organisations we can help get them on the career ladder and in turn improve the local economy.”

Surrey has one of the lowest number of young people considered NEET in the country, with less than four in a hundred being classed as such. The national average is more than six in a hundred.

Ends

* There will be at least one in each of Surrey’s boroughs and districts and up to 170 young people are expected to join in the first year. The centres are due to start opening in the autumn.

** Surrey’s 11 local committees are made up of county, borough and district councillors.

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