New help for Cornwall's most disadvantaged young people

A new project is being launched using Objective One funding to help the most disadvantaged and disaffected young people in Cornwall.

The two-year Cornwall Learning Gateway project has been developed by Connexions Cornwall & Devon in a bid to help 16 to 18-year-olds who need the most intensive support.

The project will target over 400 youngsters who have ended up with little chance of getting work because of a variety of problems, such as social disadvantage, low educational achievement, lack of self-confidence and reliance on benefits.

The Gateway project will provide personal advisers who can each work on an intensive basis with a small number of young people and give them the time that they need.

Jennie Dunse from Connexions said:"Our aim is to help the project's beneficiaries to identify and confront the barriers that are leaving them both socially and economically excluded. We will put together integrated packages for each individual to meet their personal needs."

She added that the kind of support on offer could vary from rent bonds to enable young people to obtain accommodation to confidence building that will allow them to succeed on a social and recreational basis.

The project will also create a register of employers who will offer one or two-day work shadowing opportunities to help beneficiaries understand what is and is not acceptable in the workplace.

Jennie said:"Once beneficiaries have got back into learning or work, the personal advisers will continue to offer support to keep them from slipping back."

She added:"Many young people, particularly those who have been largely outside the mainstream education system and often socially excluded, have no concept of the key skills need to interact with others and what will be expected of them when they start a job or training.

"Addressing these issues when young people first enter the labour market - before they become entrenched into a life of exclusion - will give them a much greater chance of success and also contribute to building a more skilled and useful workforce for the future."

The Cornwall Learning Gateway project will cost just over 455,000 and has been approved for a grant of nearly 228,000 through Objective One from the European Social Fund.

For further information on the Cornwall Learning Gateway, contact Jennie Dunse at Connexions on 01566 777672.


Editors notes:

Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388