Young people in Lancashire are set to benefit from a £4m boost to help them ‘Move On’ in life.

The funding has been secured by the Lancashire Employment and Skills Executive Partnership (LESEP) which is a collaboration between The Lancashire Colleges and the Lancashire Work Based Learning Executive Forum. The Partnership comprises 23 FE colleges and training providers across the county.

Developed for 15 to 18-year-olds who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) or at risk of becoming NEET, and at 15 to 24-years-olds with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the programme aims to improve young people’s education, employability and personal skills to aid progression to further learning, Traineeships, Apprenticeships or employment.

The bid was submitted by Preston’s College on behalf of the LESEP to the European Social Fund (ESF), backed by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), and will help 2,539 young people in Lancashire improve their career and life opportunities over the next two years.

Focusing on offering support to ‘Move On’ rather than concentrating on previous barriers, the programme will include mentoring and coaching, support with maths and English and work experience placements to help young people succeed.

Welcoming the funding, David Wood, chair of The Lancashire Colleges said:

“The LESEP was formed to create a strong force in Lancashire to ensure that vital funds are secured to enhance learning and skills in the county. We are delighted that our first bid under this new alliance has achieved a successful outcome and we are now working together to identify and tender for future opportunities that will bring additional funding into Lancashire.”

Lisa Bloomfield, chair of the Lancashire Work Based Learning Executive Forum added:

“Whilst great progress has been made in Lancashire in supporting those who are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET, there is still work to be done to ensure that every young person in the area is given the best possible start in their career. This funding will provide specific and tailored support to help these young people overcome their challenges and progress into work or further learning.”

The programme will be delivered from May 2016 to March 2018.