Big Lottery Fund
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£3.4m to help young people who offend and young care leavers to get ahead

A new £3.4 million funding programme launching recently aims to support young care leavers and young people who offend in Wales to enhance their chances of finding employment and accessing further learning or training.

Note: Chris Storer, a young person benefiting from the Learning 4 Life project ran by homeless charity Llamau is available for interview, filming and photo opportunities on the day of the launch. Photos of Chris are also available from the BIG press office.

With the latest figures continuing to show that youth unemployment in Wales remains stubbornly high and above the UK average (Source: Office of National Statistics), the launch of the new £3.4 million Getting Ahead programme to help this most vulnerable group of young people has been welcomed by the Big Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government.

Launching recently (September 25, 2012) at the Learning 4 Life project in Cardiff ran by homeless charity Llamau, the Getting Ahead programme aims to engage, prepare and motivate care leavers and young offenders between the ages of 16 and 18 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) into undertaking a six month paid supported work placement. The aim of the programme is to enhance their chances of progressing into sustainable employment or further learning or training by increasing their employability skills.

Getting Ahead is a non-Lottery funding programme which is being delivered through the BIG Fund and is funded by money that has been dormant in bank and building society accounts across the UK for 15 years or more. How the money is being spent in Wales has been determined by Policy Directions issued to the Big Lottery Fund by the Welsh Government.

With youth unemployment in the UK still above the one million mark, the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert, who will be speaking at the launch today, said that programmes like Getting Ahead were essential in getting more vulnerable young people into work.

“The number of vulnerable young people aged 16-18 who are not in education employment or training (NEET) matters to the Welsh Government,” he said.

“For some of these young people, the time they spend outside of education, employment or training will have a significant negative impact on their future lives - affecting their ability to compete for jobs and earn a good living, as well as their levels of health, motivation and self-esteem. This, in turn, has an impact on all of us.”

“Through the Getting Ahead programme we will help some of our most vulnerable young people to access employment in Wales. Without concerted action now to ensure that these young people have sufficient skills to enable them to compete successfully for jobs, they are likely to face an unemployed future characterised by the consequential social, economic and health-related disadvantages.”

Highlighting the importance of the funding, Big Lottery Fund Wales Committee Member, Gareth Newton, who will also be speaking at the launch, said: “Young offenders and young care leavers who are disaffected or disengaged from learning and employment are the most vulnerable members of our society. That’s why it’s important to have programmes like Getting Ahead which offers them tailored and essential advice and support.”

“Vulnerable young people require more support to enter work than others and offering tailored support and training will motivate them and help them to achieve their full potential.”

The Getting Ahead programme will fund one grant of up to £3.4 million for a third sector-led Wales-wide project lasting two years. The project must offer paid work placement opportunities across the public, private and third sectors, set at national minimum wage as appropriate to their age, to young people aged 16 to 18.

The project must provide mentoring and personal support to young people appropriate to their needs to maximise the benefits of the work placement where this is required before, during and after the 6 month work placement.

Following the release of application materials today, two briefing events will be held in Wales during October 2012 in order for potential partners to begin working together. Applicants to the programme must complete an online registration process by Wednesday 12th December 2012 and full applications must be submitted by Thursday 21 February 2013.

Guidance notes and application forms for Getting Ahead are available to download as of (25th September 2012) by visiting www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. For more information on Getting Ahead, please email: gettingahead@biglotteryfund.org.uk or call the enquiries line on 0300 123 0735.

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office – Oswyn Hughes: 02920 678 207
Out of hours contact: 07760 171 431
Follow BIG on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/biglotterywales
Find BIG on facebook:
www.facebook.com/biglotteryfundwales  
Public Enquiries Line: 0300 123 0735
Textphone: 0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • In Wales, the Big Lottery Fund is rolling out close to £100,000 a day in National Lottery good cause money, which together with other Lottery distributors means that across Wales most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 46 per cent of money raised by the National Lottery. Our mission is to bring real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.
  • The National Lottery Act 2006 allows us to handle non-Lottery as well as Lottery Funding. We do this by operating as BIG Fund.
  • The Getting Ahead programme is funded by money that has been dormant in bank and building society accounts across the UK for 15 years or more.  How we spend this money in Wales has been determined by Policy Directions issued to the Big Lottery Fund by the Welsh Government.  This programme has been developed to meet the need identified in those directions.
  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to Good Causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants given out across the arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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