A project that has been successfully supporting vulnerable secondary school learners to improve their attendance, attainment and behaviour in Ceredigion has been awarded an additional £1,545,213 and extended until December 2022 following European funding being awarded.

The Cynnydd project is a South West Wales Regional European funded initiative. The project’s performance to date has been acknowledged by the Welsh European Funding Office. It was due to close in February 2019. Because to its success, it has been decided that the project will now run to the end of 2022.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning and Leisure, said, “Any periods of time spent outside of education, employment or training will have a significant negative impact on young people’s lives. The Cynnydd projects’ interventions are a significant factor towards reducing these risks in Ceredigion. I’m very pleased with the Welsh European Funding Office decision to extend delivery until December 2022.”

Ceredigion County Council works on the Cynnydd project to support young people 11 to 18 years of age who are most at risk of disengaging with education or training across the county.

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture said, “These young people often have significant and multiple barriers to participation, such as domestic responsibilities, an insecure home environment, substance misuse problems or a history of offending behaviour. The Cynnydd project works in partnership with schools and specialist agencies, where appropriate, to provide intensive interventions or tailored programs of support to re-engage these young people with their learning and their communities.”

The Cynnydd project has supported 334 learners to sustain education and to gain Level 1 or 2 Nationally recognised qualifications. This has been achieved through alternative curriculum delivery and intensive mentoring initiatives.

The project is a key provision that supports Ceredigion to achieve the lowest annual percentages of year 11 school leavers not in education, employment or training (NEET). Currently 100% of the learners supported have entered education, employment or training after leaving the project, with 96% keeping their position 6 months later.