JOBSEEKERS in Herefordshire have been given a huge boost after it was announced that a county initiative to help youth unemployment will be getting £1.8million.

Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service (HVOSS) will receive the huge sum from the Big Lottery Fund to help its Talent Match programme to try find career opportunities for 18-24 year-olds.

The initiative is a partnership between Herefordshire and Telford, with the scheme being operated in Shropshire.

At the time of going to press, it was unclear exactly how much money would be coming to Herefordshire.

But, Will Lindesay, chief executive of HVOSS, said it would still be a significant sum, which will help enormously after Herefordshire Council confirmed that it would stop funding the in the wake of local funding from Herefordshire Council being stopped.

"It is a huge boost and and will have a long-term effect," said Will.

"We have been awarded the funding because there is an issue of youth unemployment in Herefordshire, which is above the national average and the region is one of the 'hotspots'.

"The money will really help people to get on the ladder and will offer practical support and apprenticeships."

The Talent Match projects are led by a cross-sector partnership with a key focus on employers, particularly from the private sector, to ensure that it meets local needs and young people are given opportunities get the skills to find employment.

HVOSS currently employ 18 people, but more members will now be recruited.

Scott Higgins, a 22-year-old, from Hereford, who helped design and develop the scheme in the county, said: ‘How do you get a job if you have no work experience and can’t get the experience because you can’t get a job?

"How do you break out of the downward spiral?

"Where do you get help to start climbing back up the ladder?

"Talent Match will help provide an answer to these problems and working on the project has meant a lot to me.

"It’s been made by young people for young people and it’s going to make a big difference to the young people of Herefordshire."