Unemployed will be hit by Connexions closures
The two centres, in Aylesbury and High Wycombe, which have been on the high streets for more than a decade, will close on Thursday, March 24 after budgets were more than halved by Buckinghamshire County Council for 2016/17.
Connexions is a local authority funded service for young people who are at risk of becoming, or are already, unemployed and not in education or training.
However, despite the cuts the service will continue. Connexions staff will meet young people at libraries, job centres, coffee shops and even at homes.
The Connexions name will be phased out over the coming months and the service will operate under the name of Adviza, which is the non-profit organ isa t ion commissioned by BCC to manage Connexions.
The council’s cabinet member for education and skills Councillor Zahir Mohammed visited the Connexions centre in Castle Street, High Wycombe, last week and told staff that despite the centres closing he was pleased the service would continue under Adviza.
He admitted the council had faced some very tough decisions in this year’s budgeting process.
Adviza’s CEO Katharine Horler thanked Mr Mohammed for his help to prevent cuts to the Time to Talk youth counselling service, which is also managed by Adviza.
He successfully secured transitional funds for that project.
The council has also been supportive of the charity’s efforts to seek alternative funding, and has been an investor in a social impact bond that Adviza developed.
Cuts will also school budgets. impact
BCC funding will now only cover support for learners with special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans (ECHPs) and not pupils at risk of leaving school without work, training or further education.
Adviza’s careers advice manager Carolyn Taylor anticipates growing concerns among parents about the declining level of careers guidance provision for their child as they face their options in years 11, 12 and 13.
She said: “As a charity our first priority is to make sure that the most vulnerable get the support they need and we’ll work hard to help schools continue to meet this objective.”
Holistic therapist Caroline Mordaunt chats with Sadie Webb, 14 and below, Ryan Horridge, 15, checks out a career in education with Gill Byrne of Astra Scitt