The Tees Valley Combined Authority board has discussed proposals which will see 2,000 more young people in region helped into training or work, bring the numbers helped to over 5,300.
The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) was launched in May and has already helped around 2,300 young people across Teesside to get into training or work.
The additional funding of £2m, secured by the Tees Valley Combined Authority through the devolution deal, will enable the scheme to support at least 2,000 more young people and lever in up to £6m of additional European funding to add to the YEI initiative across this area.
The programme is currently being managed jointly by Hartlepool Council and New College Durham, who both successfully bid for the European Union money for the first phase of the scheme.
The initiative is supporting people aged 15 to 29 into work, training or education over the next two years.
Mayor David Budd, chair of Tees Valley Combined Authority, said “Despite the progress we are making, the Tees Valley continues to suffer from levels of youth unemployment that are unacceptably high.
“By working together across Tees Valley the Youth Employment Initiative is already making a difference, and we now want to expand it significantly.
“The additional devolved funding we have been able to allocate – as a direct result of the devolution deal we negotiated with government last year – will see many more young people benefit from careers advice, coaching, and training which is tailored to their individual needs.”
Marc McPhillips, YEI Coordinator at Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, who have supported young people through the initiative, added: “The YEI funding enables us to help young people overcome the barriers that are stopping them get into education, training or work.
“We provide coaching in everything from timekeeping, communication, teamwork, and planning to help build confidence and self-esteem.
“Everyone who completes the course achieve qualifications in employability or sports leadership.
“It is very rewarding to see so many of the young people who attend the course go straight to college, university or get a job.
“The additional funding will allow us to help more young people from across Tees Valley.”
• Pictured above (left-to-right); Tees Valley Combined Authority chair and Middlesbrough Mayor David Budd, Liam Blanchard, Emily Manders, Aaron Ingledew and EYI Coordinator at MFC Marc McPhilips at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.