Cash for pit villages

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A CHARITY dedicated to regenerating former mining communities has announced funding to provide young South Yorkshire people with apprenticeship and job opportunities.

The investment, which is part of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s (CRT) National Apprenticeship Programme, comes as official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of youths out of work has increased to 1.04 million.

The CRT will invest £20,000 in Rotherham to create 20 apprenticeships, which will be delivered by Rotherham College of Arts and Technology.

The boost brings the number of opportunities provided to young people in coalfield areas by the programme to 550 and investment by the CRT to more than £1.1m.

This second phase of the National Apprenticeship Programme will focus on young people aged between 16 and 25 who are more than twice as likely to be out of work than older people.

But in recognition of the growing number of young people not in education, employment or training, more than 70 per cent of the apprenticeships will be created for young people aged 16 to 18.

The programme will be delivered in partnership with local councils and colleges, providing employment opportunities in the private sector.

Trust chief executive officer Gary Ellis said: “This programme will be a real boost for young people struggling to find work. Former coalfield communities have been badly hit by the economic downturn and this has compounded the problems already experienced by young people.

“This programme is a direct response to help young people into work and create a strong platform for their future aspirations.”

The apprenticeships will be available in a wide variety of industries and occupations and will run for a minimum of 12 months with young people taking up the opportunities over the next three months.

n For more information about the Coalfields Regeneration Trust visit www.coalfields-regen.org.uk.