Skills support for young people in Nuneaton continues thanks to County Council boost

A skills hub in Nuneaton which supports low-paid workers and young people achieve the skills they need to gain more highly qualified, better paid jobs is receiving a cash boost from Warwickshire County Council to ensure the service can continue.

The PET-Xi Skills Hub has been part-funded by the County Council and the European Social Fund for the past three years for delivery of the Positive Futures programme for young people aged 15-24, who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) – or at risk of becoming so. It supports them into further education, training or work by providing additional careers advice, 1:1 mentoring, and employability training.

As funding for the Positive Futures programme ends in December 2019, Pet X-I applied to continue running this important initiative. Due to a delay in confirmation from central government that its application has been successful, the PET-Xi Skills Hub was facing a funding gap and would have had to close if the County Council had not stepped in. The Council has guaranteed it will cover £20,000 of the hub’s running costs for four months if Pet X-i’s new application is not successful, or if its costs for those months cannot be claimed, even if its new application is approved.

Fleur Sexton, Managing Director of PET-Xi Training says:

“Without this guarantee from Warwickshire County Council, we would almost certainly have had to close the Skill Hub at exactly the time of year when a high number of young people drop out of further education or jobs.

“Upskilling young people in the region is one of PET-Xi Training’s major drivers. We are proud of our Positive Futures programme which assists more than 90% of our students into either employment or training within six weeks of leaving us.”

Dave Ayton-Hill, Assistant Director, Communities Directorate, Warwickshire County Council says:

“The County Council is committed to ensuring that all our young people have access to the information and training opportunities they need to flourish. The PET-Xi Skills Hub plays an important role in helping low paid workers and young people in the north of the county find the employment and training opportunities they need to reach their goals. We are delighted to be able to support the Skills Hub as they await the decision on their new application for funding.”

“Our new Careers Strategy, launched this autumn, focuses not only on supporting our young people as they prepare for employment, but also recognises that we have an adult population who may want to re-enter the workplace, change careers, or progress at work during their working life. We are placing a significant focus on supporting our more vulnerable residents, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to move into employment. We also give special consideration to residents with mental health needs and the resources available to support them in the workplace.”

For more information about Warwickshire County Council’s new Careers Strategy visit the new web pages: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/careerssupport