The West of England Combined Authority is funding a £500,000 pilot project to work with disadvantaged 14 to 16-year-olds and support them into further education, employment or training opportunities. The Realising Talent pilot project is being led by Bath & North East Somerset Council in conjunction with Bath College.
The Realising Talent project, aims to establish a dedicated children’s hub to support 240 young people, from age 14, in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire. It will offer early intervention help to those who need it most to ensure they find work, education or training by the time they turn 16.
Each child would receive bespoke support which could include a wide range of activities such as help to build confidence, coaching, travel training, work experience or help with applications/ interviews.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said, “Improving job opportunities, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can fulfil their potential is one of my key ambitions for the region.
“We’re already supporting school pupils to prepare for employment through our Careers Hub. The Realising Talent project could help even more young people to improve their futures by encouraging them to flourish and remain in education, training, traineeships and apprenticeships post-16. The pilot project will work in partnership with local schools, third sector organisations and youth services and form a central hub to help improve the coordination of the support available for young people.”
Across the West of England Combined Authority area, some 6.6% of people are not in education, employment or training after they turn age 16, but for disadvantaged pupils this figure is much higher at around 13.5%.
Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, added, “Some young people need just that little bit of extra support which can help make all the difference to their futures. This programme brings a lot of partners together to get the right support for them and it opens up education and training opportunities to help each young person realise their own talents.”
The WECA Committee approved the full business case for the Realising Talent project, at its 14 June meeting, subject to a detailed cost breakdown, risk register and finalisation of the monitoring and evaluation plan.