YOUNG people across the borough at risk of unemployment could be given a lifeline through a project that will be discussed in cabinet next week.

The Barnsley Youth Employment Programme is a £1.2m project that will aim to create 100 paid placement opportunities for young people aged 16-24.

This figure includes 40 placements already approved as part of the government’s Kickstart project which will be extended from six months to a year under the proposals, another 40 new year-long roles within the council, and other roles within Berneslai Homes.

Many of the young people who will take up the roles will also benefit from the public transport concessionary fares scheme which will allow anyone up to the age of 21 to travel by bus for 80p. This scheme will begin in June.

Coun Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The Barnsley Youth Employment Programme will give 100 young people an absolutely incredible opportunity to get their foot on the employment ladder.

“Not only will they have a year’s worth of steady income, they will have a year of real-world experience of working life, a year’s experience on their CV, and a year of support to grow into their roles. They’ll learn professional skills, life skills, interpersonal skills, and they’ll be well prepared to enter the wider world of work.

“If approved by Cabinet we’ll be able to offer this golden opportunity for a year instead of the government-funded six months.

“This is a win-win, as it gives the young people double the experience and opportunity, and after six months, once they’ve learned the skills required and settled into their roles, rather than leaving, they’ll have another six months to contribute what they’ve learned to help deliver excellent services to the people of Barnsley.

“What’s more, we’ll be working with them to progress into permanent work at the end of the programme, or even sooner if they’re ready.”