Youth charities can bid for a share of a £34 million cash pot set up by the New Opportunities Fund for ambitious new projects.
The Uproject is aimed at 16-year-old school leavers who do not have a job or a place within further education. This summer 16,000 teenagers will attend a residential week-long courses all over the country, participating in a range of activities from white-water rafting and DJ-ing to motor maintenance and designing CVs.
Charities can apply to be lead agencies, running the activities, or to support the project through residential accommodation or expertise. Around 100 voluntary agencies are already signed up including Weston Spirit, the Trident Trust and Liverpool Hope.
The Department for Education and Skills multi-million pound project is run through local Connexions partnerships, which will cover 47 areas throughout England by 2003.
Barclays bank has given the project £600,000 in sponsorship and provided a brand, web site and merchandise for the participants.