Latest figures on getting young people into education, employment and training put City of Wolverhampton ahead of national and regional improvements.
Encouraging young people to stay in learning or training, or start an apprenticeship, brings huge benefits. Young people are better skilled and ready for work, their earnings potential increases and their health and wider social outcomes are improved.
The Department for Education data relates to 16 to 18-year-olds Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET) and ‘not knowns’ (those whose outcomes are unknown).
There has been a dramatic 3.1 per cent reduction in the City of Wolverhampton from 8.4 per cent in 2015/16 to 5.3 per cent in 2016/17.
The current national NEET figure stands at 6 per cent, while in the West Midlands it is 7.3 per cent.
The improvement has been driven by City of Wolverhampton Council service – Connexions Wolverhampton – which provides information, advice, guidance and practical support to help young people get ready for adult and working life.
It has achieved the impressive numbers through proactive efforts to engage young people like door knocking, early identification and intervention, and enhanced partnership working.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “These figures are hugely encouraging and reflect the improvement in schools, and the work of Connexions Wolverhampton, the college and local training providers.
“Young people who disengage from learning and training will struggle to access employment in the future so it is vital we give them as many opportunities as possible.
“More than £3.7 billion of investment in the city is either on site or in the pipeline and we will continue to work closely with city partners to provide recruitment and training opportunities through events such as our successful jobs fairs and the Wolves at Work programme.
“The Connexions service has used these events and programmes to provide greater training and employment opportunities for young people.”
Connexions Wolverhampton was awarded the Matrix quality standard at the end of last year, which is a kite mark for organisations that provide Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) either as a core component of their service offer or as part of their wider provision.
Wolverhampton Connexions Centre, 118-119 Salop Street, is open every weekday between 1.30pm and 4.30pm, except Wednesdays. You can also call 01902 773040 for support and advice.