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Council scheme ‘highly commended’ at national awards

A WIRRAL Council programme designed to help young people leaving care secure Apprentice positions has been ‘highly commended’ at the National Social Value Awards.

The Care Leavers’ Apprenticeship scheme, which has also been shortlisted for a prestigious Local Government Chronicle Award, is helping young people leaving care build confidence, aspirations and better career prospects.

Cllr Janette Williamson, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “I am so proud of this programme. My role as cabinet member for finance is not just about finding ways to save money – it’s about guiding how we invest, and making sure our money is used to increase social justice, equality and helping the most vulnerable.

“I’ve also been able to develop a Community Wealth Building plan for Wirral, which will help make sure every contract which is issued, every pound of public money, will be kept in Wirral where we can.

“It’s about making sure our residents feel more benefit from a better economy and from improving public services.

“This scheme just ticks every box for me. It helps local businesses, it helps local residents and – most crucially – it helps vulnerable young people get a foot on the career ladder, so they can start to build a better life for themselves.”

The National Social Value Awards is an annual event, held in Manchester on 20 November. The judges honoured Wirral with a ‘highly commended’ award and were clearly impressed with the outcomes of the project. They said:

“This is a really important initiative addressing a group of young people who deserve special support. Despite the fact that the programme is just starting, it is already delivering tangible results and looks like it will provide a blueprint for many other councils. One to watch!”