A council has awarded more than £26k to a project that will improve links between schools and employers in the region.

A FRESH boost of funding will help create a ‘successful and ambitious workforce’ in Torridge by partnering colleges with local businesses.

Torridge District Council has allocated the Pupil and Employer Engagement Project (PEEP) more than £26,000 over the next three years.

The project is designed to raise the ambitions of young people and help them make informed decision about their future, as well as increasing employer links with schools.

Councillor Barry Parsons, leader of the council, said: “This project offers a way to prevent a substantial local issue surrounding our youth unemployment.

“With the increased cost of higher education, excluding more of our young people from accessing it, and some of the lowest wages in the country it is important to look for ways to improve talent retention and opportunities for young people.

“This is fundamental for improving productivity in our community and creating organic, local growth.”

Pupils will be able to benefit from real world experience and extends the schools’ relationships with employers.

Sara Vincent, chair of the Northern Devon Employment and Skills Board, said in a letter of support: “This project is key and will be invaluable in creating familiarity with the world of work for pupils, identifying best practice methodology for both schools and employers, and improving employability skills that many businesses have identified as lacking.”