Devon to become ‘innovation zone’

New youth programme to review services.

Devon has been chosen to become an ‘innovation zone’ for a new youth programme.

Devon County Council has been awarded �40,000 to become one of four Youth Innovation Zones in England.

The proposal will look at training needs, work with partner organisations on improvements and value for money, celebrating young people’s achievements, and raising the profile of services for young people.

Through this review, issues such as local provision, workforce and capacity and the impact on communities will be addressed.

Councillor Christine Channon, Devon County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for the youth service, said: “This ‘innovation zone’ status recognises the work we’re doing with our community partners to ensure the services young people want are at the heart of their communities, and that young people’s achievements are valued and celebrated.

“The government has recognised our innovative and effective plans to remodel services for the future, and this funding will help us evaluate where they are working best, and where they can be improved. It will also enable us to share ideas and best practice with other local authorities in the consortium.

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“The Positive for Youth strategy is very clear that the way youth work is currently provided has to change, and that our focus needs to be on working with the most vulnerable young people in our communities - and feedback from young people in our consultation last year underpins this.

“However, we are committed to working with young people, communities and voluntary sector partners to ensure there continues to be sufficient, high quality provision across the county, that is open to all and that develops the vital social, educational and employment skills to give young people the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The council will also have the opportunity to bid against a �500,000 fund to extend the activities during 2012/13.