Warwickshire County Council has won £100,000 of funding to help young people get into the workplace.
The Government’s Transformation Challenge Award supports the best performing councils and aims to give local authorities more control over how they spend public money in their area.
The council was deemed successful after it set out how it will improve young people’s job prospects, reduce welfare payments and increase revenue in taxes to the treasury.
Warwickshire’s Youth Transition Partnership should reduce the demands made to public services by those not in education, employment or training.
The project will look to reduce incidence of anti-social behaviour and crime, improve levels of physical and mental health while directing young people towards more positive outcomes.
In a recent study, undertaken by Deloittes, the national cost to the treasury of young people who are not in work was estimated at £4.8bn in welfare payments as well as £10.7bn in lost output, ie income tax that is not being paid, as a result of not being in full time employment.
The TCA funding will be used to commission a comprehensive study into how to make such young people more employable. Early engagement within the education process, leading to more young people leaving with a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification, will lead to more entering full-time employment.
A cost benefit analysis applied to the potential outcome of the transition work estimates that this could yield a net benefit to the public purse of nearly £2.4million, a 1,600 per cent return on the investment.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and responsible for economic development, said:
“A key part of Warwickshire’s bid was the fact that we could provide evidence of effective partnership working.
“The county council is already doing a lot of work to reduce the numbers of NEETS - those not in employment, education or training - and this award will support us in this hugely important task.”
Cllr Richard Chattaway, chairman of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Warwickshire County Council, welcomed the improved employment prospects for some of the county’s more disadvantaged young people.
He said: “Once established, the Youth Transition Partnership will aim to improve outcomes for those who are at risk of being lost to the system and help them to contribute positively to our society. We recognise that there is a considerable challenge ahead.”