The Black Country Impact has successfully achieved up to £51 million of funding to deliver a two year project that will address the barriers faced by unemployed individuals aged 15-29 years, supporting them to secure a brighter future through employment, training and education.
The four Black Country Councils came together in 2014 and began work on developing a new approach that supports young people into employment, education and training. The councils were quickly joined by Black Country Talent Match, a project led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and funded through the Big Lottery. Together the partnership has succeeded in gaining approval from Department of Work and Pensions for £34 million of new European Union funding, matched by £8 million from the Big Lottery Fund and further funding from partners to create a £51 million Impact programme.
The funders backing the Black Country Impact project are the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative, as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England, and the Big Lottery Fund which has provided “match” funding through its financing of Black Country Talent Match.
The projects strength is its individualised approach and alternative delivery, which simply put gives young adults across the Black Country the most flexible and personalised learning and support possible. Support that will help young adults address a range of different personal needs and skills needs in order for them to have the employment opportunities they want.
Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said:
“Simply put the Black Country Impact holds great potential for our young adults and long term benefits for us all, and Wolverhampton is thrilled to be part of it.”
“Impact provides simple access to trusted advice and support, working with key partners including housing, health, transport and a range of other employers. The project works with communities to support a more sustainable society by ensuring that young adults can contribute their full potential in the economy and take up job opportunities.”
Ian Darch, Chief Executive of Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, said:
“We are delighted to have been part of the successful bid.
“Through building on the practice we have already developed through our Black Country Talent Match project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and working with young people facing significant barriers to employment, we will be able to achieve even more by being a partner in the Black Country Impact.
“Impact ensures that individuals have the best possible opportunity to overcome the range of barriers they face, and to ensure they effectively participate and achieve a positive outcome. The project makes sure that young adults are best placed to take advantage of new opportunities through intensive and focussed up skilling and re-engagement activity.”