Plans voiced for new youth employment scheme in Suffolk to replace MyGo centre

The MyGo centre in Ipswich at the opening in 2014 Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The MyGo centre in Ipswich at the opening in 2014 Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Plans are underway to create a new youth employment scheme to replace the MyGo centre, it has been revealed – but district and borough councils look likely to be fronting half the cash.

Question marks remain over the future of the Lowestoft MyGo office Picture: ARCHANT

Question marks remain over the future of the Lowestoft MyGo office Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Ipswich’s MyGo centre, which helped thousands of youngsters in their late teens and early 20s into work, training, apprenticeships or other education over the last three years, closed in March when funding ran out.

Bosses behind MyGo said support would be in place for those already in the service until the end of July, while those seeking support who were not already enrolled have been referred to Suffolk County Council’s early help team and the Job Centre Plus.

Now, the county council’s education cabinet member Gordon Jones has outlined a plan to form schemes with district and borough councils to form a new youth employment project.

“We are continuing to work with the districts and borough councils to develop a co-funded youth employment programme where the needs of young people are met locally,” he said.

“This bespoke provision would support young people back into education, employment or training.

“In addition to this Suffolk wide approach, Suffolk County Council is also increasing the number of early help staff who work with 16-18 year olds who are not in education, employment or training.

“We expect this change to the service will ensure that our 95% transition rate into post-16 provision will be maintained if not improved, especially in challenging areas such as Ipswich and Lowestoft.”

Most Read

Mr Jones said the proposals would go before the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting in July.

However, district and borough councils look likely to have to front half of the cash needed, as funding remains tight.

It is understood a bid for further EU funding was unsuccessful.

Jack Abbott, Labour’s spokesman for education at the county council said the lack of clarity was “disappointing”.

He added: “Thousands of young people in Suffolk have found work, apprenticeships and education through MyGo and it feels like it has been given up without a fight.

“I’m incredibly frustrated – time and time again we receive warm words but, in reality, our young people are being abandoned by the Tories at Suffolk County Council.”