DEVON County Council today has announced the launch of a suite of projects that will help meet the skills and training needs of specific groups of 16-25 year olds in the county.

The projects, which are divided into three strands - Apprenticeships, NEETs (young people not in education, employment or training), and Skills - will help meet the specific training and skills needs of these groups and help them overcome barriers they face when accessing and continuing with training.

Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children, Schools and Skills, said: “We have commissioned this series of projects to help meet the learning and skills needs of certain groups of young people in the county.

“We understand there are barriers these groups can face and we want to help them overcome these and ensure that all young people have the opportunity to further their learning and skills set.

“Young people in Devon are our future workforce so it is vital to our economic growth that we help these individuals develop these skills.”

Devon County Council is setting up specialised coaching services through Careers South West and Core Assets for young people that have made multiple applications without success and for those have been in care and who make up part of the NEET group.

These services will provide one-to-one support to help them complete applications, as well as helping to prepare them for interviews.

An Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills event is also set to take place on Wednesday 5 March at Exeter Racecourse as part of this year's National Apprentice Week.

The event, run by Education Business Partnership, will include a Business Breakfast and interactive exhibition and aims to provide young people and employers with the opportunity to understand more about apprenticeships, training and employment opportunities.