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Funding boost for youth employment

Tuesday 21 February 2023

A joint initiative focused on youth employment for 16-24 year olds has been launched in Suffolk.

Minding The Gap (MTG) Local has been backed by Babergh, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk and West Suffolk councils who have partnered with Lapwing Education to run the programme.

The sole purpose of the programme is to re-engage these young people in education or training and/or enable them to gain and then sustain employment.

Participants are often hard to reach, unemployed, economically inactive, at risk of social isolation and face significant barriers to accessing employment. 

MTG Local will focus on supporting the individual needs of young people to identify their interests and aspirations to ensure they get the maximum benefit from the programme. 

Since its launch in December 2022, MTG Local has provided targeted and intensive support for young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) aged 16-24.

The project received £242,046 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. 

Cllr Susan Glossop, Cabinet Member for Growth, West Suffolk Council said: “I am delighted to work with partners across Suffolk to deliver this project. The development of skills is a priority for the council and this initiative will support the skills and future prospects for young people with complex additional needs within West Suffolk, enabling them to reach their full potential.”

Cllr David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council said: “I am really pleased that we are able to work together with our partners to offer this individual support to help young people get back into education, employment or training. Any help we can give now will reap dividends in the future, both for the young people themselves but also to the benefit of the local economy.”

Cllr John Ward, Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Babergh District Council commented: “Providing support for young people to find a path back into education or employment opens the door to a range of opportunities in the future. I would encourage young people or anyone supporting young people who are not in education or employment to find out about the benefits of the Minding The Gap programme.”

Cllr Harry Richardson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Mid Suffolk District Council commented: “Taking the next step after leaving full time education can be daunting, but initiatives like Minding The Gap play an important part in helping young people build confidence and learn new skills to enable them to access employment or training.”

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit Uk Shared Prosperity Fund prospectus.

For more information about the project contact Claire Flowers by email: or by phone: 01473 621762