A NEW employability project for local young people with mental health issues is being launched.

The scheme will see young people who are facing barriers linked to mental ill health being helped by Leeds City Council and Bradford Council to access education, training and work opportunities.

The initiative has been awarded funding of up to £1.45 million from the European Structural and Investment Funds Programme (ESIF) and aims to build on existing good practice.

One of the main aims will be to target and work closely with those who are disadvantaged in the labour market. The programme will involve addressing barriers to employment, raising aspirations, delivering skills and training and brokering opportunities with local and national employers.

It will support some 1,100 young people in Leeds over the next three years.

Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment, Councillor Jonathan Pryor, said: “The long term impact of COVID -19 on our most vulnerable residents is yet to be fully known, however we are working closely with partners and other local authorities to ensure support is available through programmes such as this for residents to access meaningful jobs and or educational opportunities.”

“This project will run for three years from this summer, and will play a very important role in our work to ensure young people are given the meaningful support that they need.”

The authority has also launched a new website, www.employmentskillsleeds.co.uk, to help people get back into work, training or education.