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Ex-soldiers to mentor East Lancashire pupils
EX-soldiers are set to be hired as part of a £3million mentoring programme which is being trialled in East Lancashire high schools.
Education bosses hope that the bold move will help to turn around the lives of youngsters struggling with their final three years of secondary education.
The former military personnel will be paired up with pupils most at risk of absenteeism and failing exams, county councillors have been told.
Military charities have backed the move which is set to be piloted across Hyndburn and Pendle from next January.
County council chief executive Phil Halsall said in a report: “This will provide mentoring opportunities to identified young people in secondary education who are struggling in school.
“It will also recruit, train and support members from the ex-service community in Lancashire to mentor young people and gain the skills needed to progress after the programme to find work outside of the forces.”
Specialist training provider Skills Force has been selected as a partner for the project, which will be managed by council procurement partners One Connect.
An initial scheme will be established in the two East Lancashire boroughs with placements discussed and established by December.
Progress will be assessed on how the venture has succeeded, or not, in a further 12 months’ time. The wider mentoring programme is destined to last five years. The authority is hopeful that the work will help to reduce the number of young people not in education, training or long-term employment.
Around 50 former services personnel are expected to be employed in delivering the mentoring service and they will receive full training for their new role.
County councillor Mark Perks, the cabinet member for young people, and his colleague Coun Mike France, as the authority’s armed forces champion, have been involved in discussions over the plans which are expected to be rubber-stamped by the council’s cabinet today.