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King's Lynn youth retraining project backed



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Bosses of the organisation which hopes to secure a multi-million pound funding package for Lynn have approved the first project which they hope will benefit from it.

Town Deal Board officials say hundreds of young adults will benefit from the King's Lynn Youth Retraining pledge, details of which have been outlined this afternoon.

Nearly £450,000 could be spent on the scheme if it is backed by the Government.

King's Lynn town centre in lockdown. Picture: Ian Burt. (47820618)
King's Lynn town centre in lockdown. Picture: Ian Burt. (47820618)

And College of West Anglia principal David Pomfret, who is a board member, said the scheme would “inestimably improve the lives and education opportunities available in the local area.”

He added: “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.

David Pomfret, principal of the College of West Anglia (54245288)
David Pomfret, principal of the College of West Anglia (54245288)

“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 project will involve organisations including the college and Norfolk County Council's adult and community learning services units.

Officials say it will offer a two-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 and support more than 400 young adults.

Tom Humphries, project manager for Norfolk County Council, 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.”

If it gets final approval, the project is set to be largely funded through a share of the £25 million Town Deal funding provisionally allocated to Lynn last summer.

Around £440,000 will go towards the work, plus around £38,000 more of public sector co-funding.

Public consultations also took place before Christmas on another of the projects including in the Town Deal scheme, the contentious development of a Multi-User Community Hub which would include the relocation of the existing Lynn library.

Stakeholder consultation events are due to take place this month.



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