Youth Deal kicks off with wage boost project for young people

The first initiative to support young people in Plymouth and the Peninsula from the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal has been launched this week.

The £750,000 Wage Progression Pilot, which will go live on the 17th November, aims to boost the earnings of over 500 young people aged 18-24 across the City Deal area.

The programme will be run by Working Links, which will provide support for young people through the innovative scheme, offering in work career planning.

Activities will include further learning and training to help narrow skills gaps, particularly in specific vocational subject areas such as the marine engineering sector.

Job brokering will also allow young people already in work to progress to alternative, higher-paid jobs, in turn opening up more entry level vacancies for unemployed people locally.

Working Links will also work with employers who are already involved with the City Deal through the Growth Hub or are already employing the young people to help them support skills and training. 

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans said: “The Wage Progression Pilot is the first of our Youth Deal initiatives to go live and has been designed specifically to enable our young people to develop and succeed.

“It’s not enough to get 18-24s into jobs, we want to see them advance and progress in their careers with skills and confidence and we want to support our employers to make that happen.”

The DOVE Project, a care and support agency operating across the South West, is one of the first employers to support the scheme.

Neil Hunt, Registered Manager of The DOVE Project said: "We often find it difficult to recruit people to work in the care sector but we find that many previously unemployed people find it a very rewarding career. Having a support mechanism like this is vital as there are often issues that I can't help staff with, but providers like Working Links can. Projects like this provide us with a helping hand in our recruitment process and contribute to the growth of our organisation’s team."

Working Links currently delivers a wide range of employability and skills services across the UK, including the Work Programme in the south west.

Sarah Jones, the Wage Progression Pilot’s Contract Manager for Working Links said: “We are very excited to be part of the Youth Deal and working to support young people across the Peninsula to thrive in their careers.

“Often young people find it difficult to progress from entry-level roles and it is the ambition of Working Links to change this. Not only do we see how this makes a very real change for individuals but it is vital in boosting living standards and growing local economies.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Wage Progression Pilot should contact Sarah Jones at

Image shows l-r: Neil Hunt and Alex Snowden from the Dove Project; Sarah Jones, Contract Manager Working Links; Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader PCC; Patrick Hartop Head of City Deal, PCC; Kelly Crane, Mentor, Working Links.

For more information please contact Julie Everett at Coast Communications: 01579 352604 / 07866 02635 or email

Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal

Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal is a ground-breaking deal with government to deliver economic growth in the south west in exchange for the government devolving powers and funding. The deal area covers Plymouth, Cornwall, Devon, Torbay and Somerset.

The deal will tackle low rates of productivity, a key barrier to economic growth by playing to the peninsula's strengths and growing the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors. The South West has 14 per cent of the national marine supply chain, employing 26,000. It is home to global companies such as Babcock Marine, Princess Yachts International, Pipex px, Pendennis Ship Yard and Agusta Westland.

The Deal will tackle low rates of productivity by:

Growing the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors by developing a marine industries production campus led by South Yard in Plymouth. This will provide additional research and commercialisation facilities and the relocation and development of supply chain companies, enabling the growth of the marine sector across the peninsula. Providing tailored business support programmes to all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and marine sector companies. Implementing a Deal for Young Peoplethat will tackle youth unemployment in Plymouth and the peninsula.

As a result of the City Deal local partners predict it will lead to:

9,500 permanent jobs.Unlock 32,400 square metresof new marine workspace as part of a potential phased release of the South Yard site at Devonport Naval Base that could, in the long term, unlock 85,000 square metres of new marine workspace.1,500 young people taking part in youth unemployment programmes, with 540 achieving sustained employment.The launch of the largest wage progression project in the country that will boost the earnings of young people.Provide £34m of local and national public sector investment.Lever in over £72 million of private sector investment into the area, increasing to £262m over the long term.

The Plymouth and Peninsula City Deal is supported by Plymouth City Council, the Heart of the South West LEP, Plymouth University, Devon County Council, Cornwall Council, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, West Devon Borough Council, South Hams District Council, Torbay Council, Torbay Development Agency, City College Plymouth, Exeter University, South West Marine Energy Park (SWMEP), Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Babcock, Princess Yachts and Plymouth Marine Laboratories.

Working Links

Working Links was founded in 2000 and operates in more than 50 locations across England, Scotland, Wales, and the Middle East. It is a unique organisation that delivers services to tackle social exclusion and poverty by helping disadvantaged individuals and communities. The organisation’s belief that employment is the best route out of poverty and crime and has helped over a quarter of a million people back into work. It is a public-private-voluntary company. Its shareholders are the government’s Shareholder Executive, Manpower, Capgemini and Mission Australia. It delivers effective solutions by working in partnership with organisations including , Department for Work and Pensions, and the Ministry of Justice. Working Links helps and supports people who face significant challenges and barriers such as those who have been unemployed for a long time to people with convictions, lone parents and older workers. By helping the most vulnerable in society to improve their skills and help them move into jobs with a future, Working Links can create a greater sense of social inclusion. This leads to better health, education, reduced crime and brighter futures. Working Links places partnerships at the heart of its delivery. It works closely with public, private and voluntary sector organisations and employers of all industries to bring a wealth of resources to all working relationships.




Documents & Links