Wigan council will spend thousands to help young people get into work or higher education

Council chiefs are using £440,000 to drive down the soaring number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) in Wigan following the COVID-19 pandemic.

This forms part of the town’s ‘employment and skills strategy’ with town hall bosses aiming to help residents, partners, employers and training providers bridge skills gaps and identify where future job opportunities are likely to be.

The cash has been given to Wigan from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund via the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to tackle the issue. This initiative started in October 2023 and will run until March 2025, and is expected to build on the prior success of the European Social Fund NEET programme ‘Connect to your Future’ which ended in September 2023. Coun Jeanette Prescott told the committee apprenticeships and schemes to get young people into employment are preventing them from ‘turning to crime or drug use’.

The report says that the three groups most likely to be NEET are young people with experience of the care system, the youth justice system and those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

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