Blackpool’s Youth Employment hub, The Platform, has supported 1,000 young people since it launched in March 2022.
More than 500 of those using the service have continued the journey into work, training or education.
This milestone figure landed in the same week The Platform was awarded The Partnership of the Year award in this year's ERSA Employability Awards, for its partnership work with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice in the employment support sector and demonstrate the hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce.
As well as its work supporting young people into work, training or education, many have also seen an improvement in their mental health and confidence since using the service.
To date, The Platform’s team of employment advisers have helped over 290 young people move into work, along with supporting others into training and education.
The service was launched by Blackpool Council in partnership with the DWP and is currently funded through the Towns Fund.
The aim is to provide people aged 16 to 24 in Blackpool with free one-to-one employment support to help them improve their skills, build their confidence and ready them for employment, further education or entrepreneurship.
Based in a significant regeneration area in the town centre, on the ground floor of the council operated No1 Bickerstaffe Square building, a key focus of Blackpool’s Making Blackpool Better vision is to ensure people of all ages have access to a wide range of career and education opportunities.
Working closely with many local employers and a range of training providers to help young people connect with varying opportunities across the town, The Platform offers a tailored approach to suit each individual and offers support with CV writing, confidence building, interview skills and more.
There is also a dedicated team of youth work coaches from JobCentre Plus who co-ordinate with The Platform team to ensure that young people within the 16-24 age bracket are referred to the service.
Coun Kath Benson, cabinet member for young people and aspiration, said: “The Platform has been fundamental in supporting many young people onto their career paths since it officially opened in March last year, and it is fantastic to see the number of people supported continuously rising.
“Partnership working is really key to the success of the outcomes and the work the service deliver. The team whole-heartedly deserve to be champions of the ERSA award for all their dedicated work and efforts into supporting our younger residents into their next step in life.
“We want to create a youth friendly work industry across Blackpool, and The Platform is key to making this vison come to life - starting with its fantastic connections with some of the best organisations in the town."
Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred