£108m awarded to get young people into jobs

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £108m to 21 partnerships across England from its Talent Match youth unemployment initiative to help people aged 18-24 who are struggling to find career opportunities. 
The partnerships, which have each been awarded various pots of money ranging from just under £1m to more than £10m, will administer a five-year programme in their area to help local young people who have been unemployed or out of education for at least 12 months. 
The largest pot of funding, totaling £10.2m, was awarded in Wolverhampton, where the programme will be led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council. 
Each partnership is being led by a VCS organisation, but a spokesman for the BLF said it also wanted to encourage private sector representation in the partnerships. 
Funding of £1.7m has been awarded to the social enterprise Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) to lead the partnership based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It will work on the programme with a number of local organisations, including Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow and Cornwall Council, to improve youth employment in the area through initiatives such as mentoring, placements and training. 
Lindsey Hall, co-founder and director of RIO, told Pioneer’s Post the organisation was delighted to be working with such a great group of people who were determined to tackle the difficult challenge of youth unemployment. “The Big Lottery's investment is for five years, long enough to make a real difference, both for individuals and to the way things work going forward,” she said. 
Click here to read our interview with Lindsey Hall.