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Support for young people who are NEET

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Project Brief

UKSPF Interventions - E33: Support for economically inactive residents to access employment and training.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on young people, particularly with regards to their access to education and employment opportunities.

Students had reduced face to face learning and social contact with their peers. This has had knock-on impacts, but these have been felt most acutely by young people from lower income households.  As a result, there has been a rise in the number of young people who are economically inactive. This is partly due to an increase in the number of young people starting or re-entering education. However, there has also been an increase in the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Young people now face a complex mix of barriers to pursuing employment, training and education, such as low aspirations, reduced access to resources, limited local opportunities, and poor emotional and mental health. 

Preston City Council recognises the need to provide funding for employment, training and skills programmes targeted towards this particularly vulnerable cohort.

Programme Outline

This support programme will respond to the needs of young people in Preston to assist them in overcoming the barriers they face to entering education, training and employment.

The programme should target young people aged between 14-25 years of age who are either NEET or at risk of becoming NEET. The participant group is likely to include (but is not limited to) young people who are care leavers, ex-offenders, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence, young women, from ethnic minority communities, and who have a disability and/or health conditions.

Referrals for eligible individuals should be taken from a variety of stakeholders in the local area who engage with this cohort.

The appointed organisation should work to build connections with local organisations and networks to ensure that the marketing of the programme is wide-reaching and extends to all communities in the city.

The programme should take a holistic approach to deliver personalised support over medium to long term timescales to enable young people to overcome their individual barriers and challenges. It should be structured around a key worker delivery model that provides one to one support, alongside a tailored support plan to empower the individual to achieve their aspirations and enter into long term education, training or employment.

The activities offered to participants should correspond to the specific barriers they face, and their aspirations. This could include:

  • Employability and transferrable skills training such as ESOL, digital skills, Maths, English, and pre-employment training.
  • Careers advice and job application skills training.
  • Personal development and wellbeing support.
  • Work experience, placements and volunteering opportunities.
  • Sector specific training courses.
  • Support with wider barriers including housing, benefits and access to necessary healthcare.


The project should involve close collaboration with organisations that are embedded within local communities and already have trusted relationships with eligible young people with at least 80% of the funding to be allocated to local voluntary and community sector organisations.

It would be particularly beneficial if these partners are embedded in deprived wards of the city to ensure that those most in need of support are engaged. It is expected that Preston City Council will work with the successful applicant to identify which local delivery partners should be in receipt of funding to deliver this project, adopting a fair and transparent procurement process.  This should help to provide sustainable impacts in the long term by building local capacity.  

When working with delivery partners, it is important that the appointed provider maintains open and regular communication. The provider must actively engage with the partners to ensure that their programme is adequately resourced and viable within the resources available.

Financial Profile




Total Expenditure

Year 24/25





Number of economically inactive people engaging with keyworker support services.


Number of people supported to access basic skills.


Number of people supported to engage in job-searching.


Number of people receiving support to gain employment.



Number of people sustaining engagement with keyworker support and additional services.


Number of people engaged in job-searching following support.


Number of people in employment, including self-employment, following support.


Number of people sustaining employment for 6 months.


Number of people in education/training following support.


* The output and outcome figures shown are the minimum which Preston City Council expects the available funding to deliver.

Applicants applying for the full amount would be expected to meet these targets as a minimum. Where an applicant is applying for a share of the funding, we expect outputs and outcomes to be delivered in proportion to the share applied for.

Project Timeline

  • Date of launch for commissioning - 8 November 2023
  • Deadline for receipt of applications - 15 December 2023 at 17:00
  • Notification of whether applications have been successful - 8 January 2024
  • Issuing of grant agreements, commencement of projects - 1 April 2024
  • Project end - 31 March 2025

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