How can I get involved?

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Key Information

Step Up is a bespoke training programme to engage and support NEET (not in education, employment or training) 16-24 year olds in Kent and Medway, East Sussex, Essex, Thurrock and Southend. The programme is designed to support their personal development and/or to help in preparing them to move on to an apprenticeship, traineeship, further education, or work

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the programme looks to address the rising number of 16-24 year olds claiming out of work benefits as a result of the pandemic.


Participants benefit from 1:1 support from a dedicated mentor, receiving careers information, advice and guidance at all stages – focused on the needs of that individual, and for as long as they need the support.

Through the programme, participants are 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 them to be able to successfully move on to an apprenticeship, traineeship, further education, or work.

In addition to prioritising the support of 16-24 year olds who are claiming out of work benefits, the programme also works with young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), those that are harder to reach, long-term NEET, carers, children in care and care leavers, those in rural areas, 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.

How to Apply

Please print and complete the Step Up Referral Form.

The Referral Form should be returned to

About the European Social Fund

The project is receiving £2m of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.  For more information visit

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