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15 Feb

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Grants aim to give teenagers a pathway into work or training

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are being urged to take advantage of the latest round of D2N2 Careers Local Enterprise grants to put young people on the pathway to work, training or further education.

Careers fair

Applications are open until the end of March for grants of up to £10,000 available to support schemes for 15 to 19 year-olds at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Further information is available from
The scheme is being managed by Nottinghamshire County Council on behalf of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private-sector led partnership promoting economic and jobs growth in its area - with funding available for schemes across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The grants are funded through the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

So far, more than 5,000 young people have benefited from 115 Careers Local Enterprise grant funded projects, supported by grants totalling more than £1.1m.

Amongst the projects to be supported to-date are:

Derby City Virtual School are delivering an innovative project called Act 4 Change, giving a work based insight into the creative industries and the world of work through project based activities with creative professionals. Young people will develop a crime prevention film, a theatre performance, a creative writing project and filmed case studies of their own experiences. Participants will gain a range of skills in marketing, project management, stage management, technical & production and producing.

The Lady Manners School in Bakewell is delivering a suite of activities including visits to large employers to examine job roles and progression opportunities, mentoring sessions with business mentors and a series of creative film and media sessions to raise aspirations and motivation. The school is also embedding employability into several curriculum areas.

Stubbin Wood Special Educational Needs School, Shirebrook did a hospitality “takeover” challenge where they delivered all aspects of catering and customer service for a retail and catering outlet. Undertaking a variety of roles, the young people prepared and cooked meals, provided waiting and hospitality services, marketing, visual merchandise, and sales.

The Woodlands Academy in Nottingham, working closely with local employers, has developed employability and life skills through a residential experience based on the working life. They have developed team building skills, resilience, organisational skills, and meal preparation, planning and budgeting. This is followed by careers advice and insight, mock interviews with Capital One and preparation for work experience placements.

Manor Academy in Mansfield Woodhouse is using the grant to set up a digital enterprise zone to access careers related media, and an extracurricular club featuring online challenges and events to develop employability skills. Further activities include inspiring visits and involvement in practical projects to raise awareness of career opportunities in Science and Technology. This is followed up with a dedicated careers fair and one to one interventions.

The Elizabethan Academy in Retford is delivering a tailored “Think Big” project which, working with local employers, includes mentoring, visits to local employers, and supported work placements. This is backed up with CV building, interview preparation, and local labour market information, all tailored to the needs of individual pupils to support them to be aspirational in their career aims.

The grants can be used in a variety of ways, including careers guidance for young people establishing closer links with local businesses, improving enterprise and entrepreneurial behaviour and delivering local competitions and events.

To benefit from the funding, applicants must have a careers, enterprise and employability action plan. Grants must be used to deliver new projects, not support existing activity.

A range of options are available for delivery of the schemes, including the use of Nottinghamshire County Council's pre-approved providers or applicants using their own in-house provision.

Matthew Wheatley, D2N2 Chief Executive, said: “To someone who has never entered the world of work, doing so can seem a daunting task. At D2N2, we’re trying to close the divide between school and work through a number of initiatives, including Careers Local.

“This is to ensure that the next generation of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire workforce are as ready for the world of work as they can be; inspired by the numerous and varied opportunities open to them, and equipped with the skills needed and wanted by local businesses.”

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: "One of the key building blocks of economic growth is the availability of a skilled, job-ready workforce. So improving skills, employability and awareness about the opportunities available for young people is hugely beneficial both for the young people individually and the wider economy."