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The first Town Deal project has been approved by the Town Deal Board and if approved by Government will bring in £442,000 of Town Fund cash to deliver the King's Lynn Youth Retraining pledge.

The pledge is a 2-year programme for 15-18 year olds in education, unemployed 18-25 year olds, and 18-30 year olds in the workplace to raise aspirations, improve participation in further and higher education and to enhance employability and career opportunities.  

The project brings together a unique partnership of local organisations.  It will support more than 400 young people facing the most significant barriers to accessing learning and work to recognise their talents and realise their potential, as well as helping to provide businesses with a skilled and ready workforce.

David Pomfret, Principal of the College of West Anglia, said: "As a member of the Town Deal Board, and Principal of  the College of West Anglia, I am delighted that the first of the seven Town Deal business cases to be signed off by the Town Deal Board is the King’s Lynn Youth Retraining Pledge.   

"Participation and achievement levels among young people are historically low in west Norfolk – well below both the national and Norfolk averages.  Many young people are employed with no training at all. Local employers have long cited the skills gap as an issue for their business."

"The pledge aims to address this by engaging with local employers to facilitate industry-related learning, work-based training, and work inspiration. It will also support the transition of young people into further training and into employment with training, removing personal barriers to progression, utilising a range of employability, training and positive activities."

The partnership, which includes the College of West Anglia and Norfolk Adult/Community Learning Services, will provide a portfolio of accessible training, and provide, develop, co-produce or commission bespoke training to meet local needs of individuals and businesses.  The partnership will work to develop an ongoing sustainable model that will maintain a strong insight into local needs and opportunities, ensuring that this project leaves a legacy that will benefit young people beyond the two-year programme period.  A further £37,900 of public sector co-funding has been allocated to support this project.  

David Pomfret, Principal at the College of West Anglia, added: “The Youth Retraining Pledge offers more than 400 young people, including 15–18-year-olds in education, unemployed 18–25-year-olds, and 18–30-year-olds in the workplace, the opportunity to raise aspirations, improve participation in further and higher education and to enhance employability and career opportunities.

"With approval from the Government and support from the Town Deal fund, we are delighted to be part of this project, which will inestimably improve the lives and education opportunities available in the local area.”

Tom Humphries, Norfolk County Council Project Manager, said: “The Youth Retraining project is an exciting opportunity to support the aspirations and future career prospects for young people in the town. 

"In addition to the historical employment challenges for young people, Covid-19 has had damaging effect, disrupting the education and job prospects for many. 

"With award from the Government through the Towns Deal fund, the project will play an important role in ‘Levelling-up’ opportunities within King’s Lynn, creating learning opportunities to support career pathways, retraining to gain higher skills in the workforce and important assistance to find a good job with local businesses.”

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