THE Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has secured £29.5 million from the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to deliver a ‘Ways to Work’ programme which will be locally matched to create a total budget of £42 million to help young people and adults into training and work. Around 6,800 people, aged over 16 years, will be supported into work or education/training over the next three years, across the Combined Authority region of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The Ways to Work programme will work with 18,000 people to help them into work through additional advice, work placements and targeted training. There will also be initiatives to specifically support young people leaving care, and other vulnerable groups and people who are out of work with a health condition. Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “I am pleased that the Government has recognised that we have put forward a good quality bid for funding which is why we have been successful. “Despite the efforts of local authorities across the City Region, we still have far too many people without the skills and qualifications to take advantage of employment opportunities. “This funding will enable us to identify people who need support and tailor support to meet their needs.” Cllr Ian Maher, the Combined Authority’s Portfolio Lead for Employment and Skills added “Supporting our residents into training or employment is a priority for us across the City Region and this funding will help us to ensure that they are equipped with the right skills to access employment opportunities. The range of support available will mean there is something for everyone to help them progress into training or work.” The programme will be delivered by each of the six local authorities in the Liverpool City Region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, in partnership with public transport body Merseytravel. The support to young people will end in July 2018 with the remainder of the programme running until December 2018.