Thursday, 19 November 2009

ENGAGE scheme launches

Young people who are at risk of missing out on education and job opportunities are being supported by European funding.

12,000 young people from across South West Wales are to benefit from a £32.5million scheme to improve their chances of success.

The scheme, called 'ENGAGE', aims to target 14-19 year olds who are at risk of dropping out of formal education or training or are failing to achieve their full potential.

The scheme is led by Neath Port Talbot Council in partnership with Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire councils as well as six further education colleges across the region who will all provide match funding.

They are Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Gorseinon, Coleg Sir Gar, Pembrokeshire and Coleg Ceredigion.

Aimed at reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training, ENGAGE will provide complementary curriculums and innovative training approaches to motivate and boost the confidence of students who are experiencing problems learning.

Tailored to the needs of each individual, a range of techniques will be used such as vocational training, one to one intensive support and activities to raise self esteem to encourage them to remain in education and improve their skills.

Deputy Minister for Skills, John Griffiths, said, ""ENGAGE will help raise aspirations and increase participation rates in education, training and employment across South West Wales.

"It is an excellent example of partnership working with local authorities, schools and further education colleges delivering the very support young people need to remain or reengage with education.

"Equipping young people with new skills and confidence will lead to improved career opportunities and a quality workforce, bringing increased economic and social benefits to the region."

The scheme will also assist those who are not attending school or college by supporting them back into the education and it will also work with pupil referral units, care leavers and young offenders, providing additional learning support for those who are not in mainstream education.

Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Ali Thomas, said, "I am excited by the opportunities that will be offered to our young people through the ENGAGE project. The project will provide them with the support they need to succeed. It is so important that we use this funding effectively to motivate learners and to improve their ability to secure rewarding and satisfying careers."

Photograph: Natasha Burgess joins John Griffiths to launch ENGAGE


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