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An ‘innovative’ new service is being launched to support young people and adults who are not in education, employment or training (often referred to as NEETs).

The Thrive programme, which is being rolled out across Suffolk, promises “tailored advice” and “ongoing support” in learning and acquiring skills.

It is jointly funded by the county councils and supported by three colleges.

In 2023, 10% of 16- and 17-year-olds in Suffolk were considered NEETs – the second highest figure in the East of England, behind Norfolk with 12.5%.

Participants in the new programme will be offered a tailor-made job or training search plan, with the help of three “progress advisors”.

Entrance to Suffolk New CollegeEntrance to Suffolk New College

Suffolk New College will lead the programme (BBC)

Alan Pease, Principal and CEO of Suffolk New College, based in Ipswich, said: “We are incredibly excited to be leading the Thrive project and look forward to working with great partners who share our passion for ensuring that everyone in Suffolk has the chance to reach their potential.”

“We are passionate about helping people of all ages achieve positive outcomes, so this project is very important to us.”

The programme is also supported by West Suffolk College and East Coast College – as well as Inspire Suffolk, Lofty Heights, Anglia Care Trust and Access Community Trust.

Suffolk county councils have funded the programme by pooling their grants from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The contract will initially run for one year and could be extended depending on the availability of additional government funds.

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