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 is available to fund ideas, with plans being put in place to increase this following a wave of innovative project proposals. The second round of funding has so far seen seven applicants secure 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.
Further applications are currently being reviewed and new projects to receive funding will be announced in the coming weeks. 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.
Amaze Clothing Co Ltd has been awarded £7,412 for Fabric Workshop - aimed at teaching young people how to operate industrial sewing machines to create clothing from fabrics that would otherwise go to landfill. Access to Business has received £10,000 for ‘Young Business Matter - Social Enterprise’ to enable young people to explore enterprise/self-employment as their route to work and discover the wide range of contracted/self-employment opportunities available to them.
TLC College has been granted £8,936 for ‘Allrounders – Cricket & Employability (ACE)’ to recognise skills through IAGs, CVs, Mentoring, Team/Confidence Building.
YMCA Black Country Group has been awarded £10,000 for ‘The Wolves Den’ - a Dragons’ Den style approach to move young people away from unemployment and into self-employment.
Wildside Activity Centre has received £8,585 for ‘Nature Works’ - a 12-week programme incorporating two six-week conservation projects, a targeted curriculum of employment and conservation education and bespoke one-to-one support for six individuals.
Wolverhampton Community Radio Training Ltd has been granted £9,900 for Media training for skills and confidence development - accredited training for 18-24-year-old young people that will increase interpersonal skills, confidence and prepare beneficiaries for the workplace, college or university.
Aspiring Futures (CIC) has been awarded £9,552 for ‘Young Entrepreneurs’, which will see the recruitment of ten young women who are not in education, training or employment to participate in 15 weeks of interactive and creative sessions conducted by inspirational women, to improve participants’ self-image, confidence and their perception of their own limits and aspirations.
Lakhbinder Douley of Amaze Clothing Co Ltd in Wednesfield, said: “We are very excited to receive this funding and honoured to be recognised for our knowledge in garment design and manufacture. We look forward to engaging young people in the workshops. The fun-filled classes will create progression opportunities, teach new skills, and ultimately lead to sustainable employment. We will offer a welcoming space for young people to meet, learn and create. The project offers a whole lot more than just learning how to sew.”
Clare Roberts-Molloy of YMCA Black Country Group, added: “We are delighted to be awarded funds under the City Ideas Fund. Our ‘Wolves Den’ idea will be targeted to encourage 18-24-year-olds to consider business ventures and self-employment opportunities as a realistic and viable option for their future employment. We hope to see some creative ideas generated by the young people of Wolverhampton and we are excited to be working to support them in their ventures.”
Mark Hand of Wildside Activity Centre in Whitmore Reans, said: “Nature Works will focus on raising awareness of the local environment by offering participants opportunities to access local green spaces to learn about the issues that impact them. Classroom sessions will be combined with practical teaching through projects such as wildlife and diversity studies, hands on conservation work and site visits to green spaces throughout the city. The green agenda is of huge concern at the moment and equipping young people with increased practical and theoretical skills in this area will provide them with a unique advantage when looking to (re)enter the work environment. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the city council to deliver this project and make a positive difference to the young people and communities of Wolverhampton."
Council Deputy Chief Executive, Mark Taylor, said: “We’ve been impressed by the latest round of applicants to the City Ideas Fund and we believe these projects will make a big difference to young people in our city.
“It is a great response to our call to action for a one city approach to tackling the issue of youth unemployment. “We need disruptive thinking, we need to shake things up – because all our best efforts to reduce youth unemployment to date, have not been enough.
“The City Ideas Fund provides funding to stimulate fresh thinking and the funding awards so far are just the start, with more funding to come.”
If you would like to know more about the City Ideas Fund please email email@example.com.