CXK has launched a new project to engage and provide individualised support to 16-24 year olds in Kent and Medway, East Sussex, Essex, Thurrock and Southend.
Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), Step Up will support young people that are NEET (not in education, employment or training) or at risk of becoming NEET. Step Up will address the rising number of 16-24 year olds claiming out of work benefits as a result of the pandemic. The programme will be led by CXK with support of delivery partners from across the south-east.
Participants will benefit from 1:1 support from a dedicated mentor, receiving careers information, advice and guidance at all stages and for as long as they need the support. Through the programme, the young people will be able to build skills that are vital for success in the workplace – such as confidence and self-esteem – as well as benefitting from accredited and non-accredited training options, including any employability, numeracy and literacy training necessary for the young person to be able to successfully move on to an apprenticeship, traineeship, further education, or work.
Craig Garton, Director of Operations at CXK, said: “As of April 2021, there were 30,925 16-24 year olds claiming out of work benefits across Kent & Medway, East Sussex and Essex. Many of those young people will have had no previous experience of work; this makes it even more challenging for them to enter the labour market – particularly at the current time.
“CXKs Step Up service will address this very real need, providing bespoke support to overcome any barriers that the young person faces to sustaining employment, and getting them ready to move on to an apprenticeship, traineeship, further education, or work.
“At CXK we have a long history of supporting young people to build the skills and confidence they need to improve their life chances and we’re thrilled to have been successful in securing the opportunity to continue this work with the support of the ESF funding.”
In addition to prioritising the support of 16-24 year olds who are claiming out of work benefits, the programme will engage and support young people with a diverse range of needs, including Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), care leavers, young people that are, or are at risk of being, homeless, and those with mental health and financial barriers.
The programme is open for referrals now. Full details of the programme, including how to apply or refer a young person, are available at: http://www.cxk.org/services/step-up.