BRADFORD is to adopt a successful American model for getting young people into skilled jobs, in what is a first for the UK.

Pathways to Prosperity was developed by Harvard University and has so far been adopted by 12 American states.

It aims to tackle the number of people reaching their mid-20s without the qualifications needed to land a family-sustaining job.

The programme sets young people up with up a seamless transition from education to a career, with a focus on workplace learning.

Many of the jobs involved are in high-skill, high-wage sectors like IT, healthcare and advanced manufacturing, where employers have struggled to find new recruits with the skills they need.

Now Bradford Council has decided it wants to be the first UK district to try out the model.

Councillor David Green, leader of Bradford Council and chairman of the Bradford District Partnership, said: "Bradford Pathways is an innovative way of delivering skills and knowledge for young people so they can gain employment now and in the future.

"It is a way of education and business sectors working together that has had great success in the United States and other countries.


"The Council will be taking a leadership role in working with schools and businesses to develop Bradford Pathways so we can match skills and training with the future needs of our economy."

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s services, added: "The purpose of Bradford Pathways is to prepare students for a world of changing business and economic needs.

"It will support young people and adults into a wide range of higher-wage, higher-skills and higher-demand careers in sectors that are important to Bradford and the region."

A special conference, called Pathways to Prosperity: Preparing Bradford District for the 21st Century, will take place next month.

The focus for the conference will be on how the district can develop a new way of delivering employment-focussed skills, careers and technical education.

The conference, which has been organised by Bradford Council and Bradford District Partnership, will take place on Wednesday, October 7, at the Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford, from 4.30pm to 8pm.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Deirdre Hughes, a senior consultant and principal research fellow at the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research (IER).

Dr Hughes will address an invited audience of business leaders, and senior education professionals.