COUNCILLORS have agreed to a new project aimed at helping the job prospects of local young people.
Huddersfield Area Committee will allocate £33,000 to be spent with schools in Almondbury to raise aspirations and empower young people to make life-changing decisions about their futures on leaving school.
Staff from Calderdale and Kirklees Careers will be commissioned to develop, plan and organise the programme for Years 5 to 11 – covering children and young people aged from nine to 16 – and help them contribute to the economy in Huddersfield and beyond.
They will work with local firms and training organisations.
The project will involve families and local organisations in supporting young people to gain vital skills for their long-term prospects, to forge links with further education and businesses and to raise awareness of post-16 opportunities.
Almondbury High School and Language College will take the lead. The programme is set to build on the good work that already takes place in the area.
It will also emphasise how important it is that families get involved.
Janet Tolley, headteacher at Almondbury High School and Language College, said: “We already know that our pupils are well prepared for the next stage in their education, training or employment – Ofsted confirmed this in their recent report – and we are very proud of our work in encouraging pupils to be aspirational in their course and career choices.
“At the same time, we always look for innovation because this is a crucial way of helping young people to develop and fulfil their potential when they reach the point of leaving school or college in the future.
“Almondbury has been chosen for this project to build on excellent existing practices and to help develop a model that will be used across other areas in Kirklees.
“This will include working with younger children and their families – those in Years 5 and 6 in the Almondbury Schools Community Partnership – to start considering career pathways earlier.
“It will include a strong partnership with the University of Huddersfield and local businesses to highlight the opportunities on offer to children in families in which no-one previously has been to university.
“This is very important work in enhancing the life chances of young people and helping to give them the best possible opportunities.” The Almondbury ward currently has a high rate of long-term unemployed people and is a Kirklees Council Neighbourhood Focus area.
Clr Christine Stanfield, who chairs Huddersfield Area Committee, said: “I am delighted to support this long-term work at Almondbury High School and Language College, which will offer our young people real insight into the opportunities available to them.
“This project will continue to raise the aspirations of our young people and I urge Huddersfield’s businesses to work closely with the school and help them make the best connections in local work and education opportunities”.