Haverhill’s Youth Skills Project to get funding to continue

Youth skills officer Karen Chapple ENGANL00120131009153438
Youth skills officer Karen Chapple ENGANL00120131009153438

The highly successful Youth Skills Project in Haverhill is being safeguarded after the town council decided it would continue to fund the project.

Councillors have agreed that £20,000 of unspent funds could be taken forward into the coming financial year to pay towards the Youth Skills Manager post.

The project which had been funded by the Department for Work and Pensions has seen 119 opportunities created for young people in the town.

Originally designed to help 10 young people into apprenticeships the scheme has seen 86 apprentice schemes taken up with 26 youngsters staying in employment after their apprenticeships ended.

Government funding, which continued past its first year into a second year, comes to an end at the end of March but Haverhill Town Council is optimistic that alongside partners ONE Haverhill this project can continue to help young people into work.

Haverhill Town Council has taken on responsibilities for youth projects. Among these was the creation of the former magistrates court into a Youth Hub and funding had been earmarker for the capital and revenue costs.

Last year this project was shelved owing to difficulties in obtaining the building and a review of the needs of young people was carried out. This identified the need for the Youth Skills project to continue.

Town Clerk, Colin Poole, said that with funds available and the outcome of the review the two fitted together.

“A lot of businesses have benefitted from this scheme. The project has been really successful and Haverhill, while being one of the fourth largest towns in Suffolk but without an FE college, has kept up in employment terms.”

The funding guarantees the scheme until at the end of September but Mr Poole said the council was confident it could be continued,