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Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 00:43 GMT
Careers service tackles disaffection
teenagers looking for work
The scheme aims to reach out to teenagers
A new scheme to help teenagers make informed decisions about their future is succeeding in tackling issues such as teenage pregnancy, drugs, youth crime and school exclusions, says a survey.

The survey from the Local Government Association (LGA) considered the pilot stages of the Connexions careers advice project, which offers teenagers information on further and higher education, careers, training, housing, health and volunteering activities.


By listening to their needs, Connexions partnerships can give youngsters the service they deserve

Chris Clarke, Local Government Association
Connexions, launched last year by the education secretary, has been piloted in 13 areas in England since April last year and will be launched in a further 16 from April 2001.

In a survey of the pilot schemes, the LGA found that many disaffected youngsters were being identified, helping to break a cycle of dependency and low expectations and underachievement.

The organisation's chair of social inclusion, Chris Clarke, said: "By listening to their needs, Connexions partnerships can give youngsters the service they deserve."

The success of the scheme in rural communities was particularly noted, Mr Clarke added.

Council success

The LGA report said the scheme looked set to succeed with councils.

The association's chair of education, Graham Lane, said: "The LGA's survey shows local authorities have seized the challenge of Connexions and there has been substantial achievements made in ten pilots."

Under the Connexions scheme, a personal adviser is allocated to every teenager, offering careers advice, as well as help over issues such as drugs and homelessness.

Advisers are based primarily in schools, but also in high street centres.

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