Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Grwp Llandrillo Menai’s Young People on the Right TRAC for a Brighter Future!

Stakeholders involved in a £38m EU-funded project that supported young people who were disengaging from education and at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), gathered at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Rhyl campus to celebrate the difference Grwp Llandrillo Menai’s TRAC project has made to the lives of hundreds of learners across all Grŵp Llandrillo Menai colleges.

Representatives from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Welsh Government and Denbighshire County Council, were in attendance to mark the overwhelming success of Grwp Llandrillo Menai’s TRAC 16-24 project which ran from 2016 to 2022. The project’s specific objective was to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 from becoming NEET, thus maximising their opportunities for success in adult life.

Learners were identified as eligible for support through an Early Identification Tool (EIT), which was used to review the level of support at the ‘Learners at Risk’ panels across the group to determine the most appropriate support for each individual. Following the panel meetings, a TRAC Mentor worked with the learner to create a personalised action plan and a bespoke support package to ensure their engagement and success in college.

At Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, TRAC 16-24 has been a huge success and its impact and ongoing legacy will continue to support and shape future mental health and wellbeing support for learners studying at Grwp Llandrillo Menai. The Grŵp TRAC project has resulted in a 66% decrease in the number of 16-24 aged learners who have become NEET. Learners receiving TRAC support have improved their attendance, developed enhanced skills, such as resilience, communication and positive mental health and gone on to achieve success on their course and in their future careers.

Speaking at the event, Carolyn Thomas MS said: “It was great to hear and learn about the benefits of the European-funded TRAC 16-24 project. I hope it can continue under a new funding stream, expanding into a pathway of employment working with the business community.”

Another member of the Senedd, Gareth Davies MS added: “It has been a pleasure to visit Rhyl College to learn more about the TRAC 16-24 scheme, and the fantastic work that it did in providing education, training and work opportunities for young people who needed it the most. The project has succeeded in lowering the chances of young people becoming NEETs.”

James Nelson, Executive Director Academic Services at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, commented: “ The TRAC project has been excellent in the support it has provided to many learners who are at risk of becoming NEET. 70% of learners who were supported by TRAC have told us without this support they would have been worse off, and would not have achieved their qualifications. We are working with partners to secure replacement funding so that we can continue to provide this critical support to our learners so that they can continue to be successful.”

Head of Learner Services and Marketing at Grŵp Llandrillo-Menai, Phil Jones, added: “The event has been

excellent, it has shown the impact our TRAC funded Mentors have had on learners through the bespoke support they have provided to those at risk of becoming NEET. We are very proud of the achievements made by learners supported by TRAC, many of whom have gone on to a higher level course, started a University Degree, employment or secured an apprenticeship.”

The TRAC 11-24 project is now closed. It was partly funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government.