AN Ellesmere Port based charity has joined forces with the Duke of Westminster's charity to pledge support for local young people.

The Youth Fed, which supports young people across the North West, has secured the future of its flagship careers and employability programme, The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge, which brings employers, young people, and the education sector together.

The Pledge works with businesses to identify the skills needed for the future workplace and communicate those needs to young people and educators. The programme achieves this through a whole range of careers events, employer talks, job and apprenticeship signposting, local insight information and guidance support for schools.

The work of the Pledge is needed now more than ever, with the way Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on young people, especially those transitioning into work, and shining a spotlight on inequalities.

The project has been boosted with a five-year partnership commitment thanks to generous funding and support from The Westminster Foundation, representing the charitable activity of The Duke of Westminster and supported by the Grosvenor businesses.

The aim is to ensure that every young person aged 14-18 within Chester, Ellesmere Port and the surrounding rural areas can benefit from this work.

Staff deliver a blend of virtual and face-to-face Pledge activities including; high quality individual careers guidance, mass participation careers festivals, school-specific events, apprenticeship focus days and sector-specific insights on local opportunities available.

Chris Hindley, chief executive of Youth Fed, comments: “Young people are key to driving the economic recovery that will be needed as our communities emerge from the damage caused by Covid-19.

"Their ability to acquire new skills, their familiarity with the digital world and their geographic flexibility and adaptability means they are well placed to accelerate economic growth and help rebuild communities.

“However, the latest labour market figures show long-term youth unemployment at a five-year high so the work of the Pledge will be more important than ever in these challenging times.

"Thanks to the long-term financial support from Westminster Foundation, we will be able to bring young people, educators and employers together to develop careers programmes, broker opportunities and ensure young people can make informed decisions about their futures.”

Representatives of Westminster Foundation including The Duke of Westminster met the Pledge team recently to find out more about the programme.

The event was kindly hosted by Blacon High School who have benefitted from the Pledge’s work, and the Westminster Foundation team heard directly from young people, local businesses and other schools that have already benefitted from the Pledge Programme.

The Duke of Westminster, chair of the Westminster Foundation, said: “The Pledge bridges the gap brilliantly between businesses, young people and the education system to everyone’s benefit.

"The programme gives young people a real insight into the variety of roles available to them and the skills they need to pursue their chosen careers, while businesses will always benefit from investing in their local community’s future workforce, who are engaged and eager to learn.

"I’d like to thank Blacon High School and Youth Fed for hosting such an enjoyable and informative visit and now look forward to working closely with the Pledge.”

  • To find out how to get involved in this project, email
  • To find out more about Youth Fed, visit