A wide range of opportunities for Wolverhampton’s young people have been announced after funding for the council’s City Ideas Fund was more than doubled.

The fund offers a one off grant of between £500 and £10,000, for city employers, partners, voluntary organisations, community groups and individuals to develop ideas and projects which help young people into employment, training and learning.

An initial pot of £100,000 from the £3million Wolves at Work 18-24 programme was made available to fund ideas – and this has been increased to just over £212,000 to accommodate further applications following a positive response to the Council’s call to action.

The 15 new successful applicants follow 9 other organisations in securing funding to help address some of the key challenges connected with reducing the number of unemployed 18 to 24 year olds in the city from 2,660 in November 2021.

Successful applicants are chosen by an independent Blind Evaluation Panel made up of representative organisations and young people from across the city and moderated by an internal team from the Council.

NPV Football Development - Learning Through Football has been awarded £10,000 to recruit 6 young people who will be assigned a lead coach they will assist and support at coaching sessions across a period of 36 weeks.

Sian Computers Community Initiative C.I.C’s Pre-Apprentice Program to provide work based experience to 25 people aged between 18 and 25 will receive £7,710.

Georgina James’ Dream Makers - Creative Youth Makers Project has been granted £10,000 to support NEET youth in deprived areas to develop core skills providing routes into education and employment.

School of Coding - Coding 4 Youth has been awarded £9,800 to run bootcamps in coding and games development to teach NEET youths and help them to transition from being computer game consumers to become computer game developers.

Reach and Unite Outreach and Empowerment C.I.C has received £9,980 for a post 16 gateway helping young people with SEND and SEMH needs into employment through traineeships.

Social - Developing Your Creative Edge (Ethnic Minority Council) has been granted £10,000 to support youths into the market of employment and freelance work for social media roles, such as branding, marketing, communications, advertising, digital marketing, and social media assistant opportunities.

Easy Automotive Ltd’s Community Automotive Skills Enterprise (CASE) Project has been awarded £9,340 to train windscreen technicians so they can work independently or secure employment in big companies like Autoglass or in a local garage.

Wolverhampton Swimming & Fitness Centre has received £8,025 for its National pool Lifeguarding qualification with a guaranteed interview afterwards at the centre or with other providers.

Initiatives for Regional and International Development’s Leadership and Employability Skills Development (LESD) Bootcamps has been awarded £9,999  to develop leadership, employability and entrepreneurial skills in young people who are not in education or employment across Wolverhampton.

Smithridge Healthcare Ltd has been granted £10,000 to provide accredited training for 18 to 24 year olds followed by a guaranteed offer of employment upon completion of its Career in Health and Social Care course.

Learn Play Foundation’s has been awarded £10,000 for its One Stop Creative Skills Shop – a central hub for young people in Wolverhampton with the provision of creative & digital skills, apprenticeships and routes into education at its forefront.

Gazebo’s Creative & Cultural Industries Scheme has received £9,998 to deliver ‘on the job’ training in a range of art forms, including drama, dance, media film production, music, digital music production, visual arts, design, facilitating work with young people and communities, OCN West Midlands qualifications, and work experience within both Gazebo partner organisations.

Support Futures has been granted £5,000 for Fit to Work – combining coaching to enhance mental clarity and advanced goal setting with physical conditioning.

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce has been awarded £10,000 for a Business Start Up Programme designed to help 18 to 24 year olds understand how to set up and run a business.

Nature Academy has received £9,710 to build on its successful Natural Prospects training programme, 'Nature Academy'. It will establish a gateway to the conservation sector by delivering 2 training courses to local unemployed young people aged 18 to 24. Based in the Smestow Valley Nature Reserve, each course will equip participants with core skills needed to manage urban wild spaces and provide an accredited practical qualification at Level 1 through the Open College Network West Midlands.

Robert Allen of Sian Computers Community Initiative C.I.C, said: “We believe this funding will enable the improvement and enhancement of the resource capability and capacity of youngsters. It will also contribute towards reducing incidences of economic deprivation and social exclusion amongst our young people in disadvantaged areas of the city. We wish to thank the City Ideas Fund for investing its faith in our youth employment mission.”

School of Coding CEO, Manny Athwal, added: “School of Coding is delighted to have been awarded funding from the City Ideas Fund to improve the lives of young people living within Wolverhampton. We welcome this great initiative by the city council which will open doors for young people in Wolverhampton to learn new skills and become work-ready.”

Dominique Williams of Reach and Unite Outreach and Empowerment C.I.C, said: “Our aim is to continue our support for young people with complex needs within the city at high risk of unemployment. Our success over the last year lets us know we can be successful in this field and we look forward to mentoring and supporting many other young people over the next year, and have already got in place a referral and work placement pathway with Wolverhampton job centre for young people between 16 to 24 that meet our criteria.”

City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “The City Ideas Fund provides funding to stimulate fresh thinking and we have increased the initial level of funding to back the innovative ideas coming forward.

“I am delighted to see this latest batch of successful City Ideas Fund applicants will provide opportunities for young people across a range of sectors such as creative industries, sport, environmental and automotive.

“We have a wealth of untapped talent amongst 18 to 24 year olds in Wolverhampton and these projects will give that talent a chance to shine.

“Organisations across the city have responded brilliantly to our call to action for a one city approach to tackling the issue of youth unemployment.
“We need more disruptive thinking like this, and we need to shake things up if we are to reduce youth unemployment.”