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Investment fund created to address ‘cold spots’ across England closes for applications 

London, 4 December 2015: As The Careers & Enterprise Company’s new Investment Fund closes for applications, it has released a new report* identifying ‘cold spot’ areas across England where young people have least access to enterprise and career skills provision. 

The report, based on key indicators including academic achievement and business engagement with education providers, shows opportunities available to young people across England vary considerably. Those in northern, coastal and rural regions face some of the worst provision of careers and enterprise support in the whole of the country. The Black Country and Cornwall were identified as the regions with the least support available for young people. 

Areas with the best access to enterprise and career skills development included Coventry & Warwickshire and Thames Valley Berkshire. 

In every region in England less than half of businesses offer work experience, despite the fact two thirds** acknowledge work experience is a ‘critical requirement’ when recruiting new staff. 

Claudia Harris, CEO of the Careers & Enterprise Company, comments: "Our report reveals the provision of enterprise and career skills is not consistent for all young people in England. With youth unemployment stubbornly remaining three times the average national rate, this must change.  Our role is to identify the areas that are most in need, and fill these gaps in provision. The investment fund is a key part of this, and will allow many of the brilliant existing programmes that are already in place to scale up and reach more young people."

Commenting on the launch of the fund, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: "It is a commitment to social justice that drives this Government’s determination to ensure all young people, regardless of their background, have the chance to unlock their full potential. 

"The Careers & Enterprise Company’s Investment Fund is exactly the kind of initiative that will encourage schools and colleges across the country to share best practice in careers provision and focus attention on areas where intervention is most needed, improving the life chances of young people from our most challenging communities." 

The ‘cold spots’ are based on indicators such as apprenticeships, STEM and engagement between education and employers. The results of the report will be used by the Careers & Enterprise Company to allocate its £5m Investment Fund. Applications to this fund close today, with the beneficiaries due to be announced in early in the new year. Funds will be used by organisations with a proven track record of providing career and enterprise support, so that they can scale up and increase coverage, filling the gaps in provision across England. 

Notes to editors 

*Prioritisation indicators 2015 (cold spots) (download PDF) 

**Research Catch 16-24’, UK Commission for