19/05/2003

Young people offered better 'Connexions'

Over four million young people across England can now get help and advice on their education, careers and personal problems following the launch of the national awareness campaign for the Connexions Service.

The £2.3 million campaign will run from today across the summer, using advertising on television, radio and the Internet, as well as SMS text messaging, telephone boxes and bus interiors. It will target all young people aged 13-19, inviting them to get in touch with the Connexions Service through their schools and colleges or high street Connexions centres or Connexions Direct.

Connexions, the government's information, advice and guidance service will also target the 173,000 16-18 year olds who are not currently in education, employment or training to make sure that they receive crucial support.

Launching the campaign with England and Arsenal footballer Ashley Cole, at a visit to a Connexions centre in Hackney, Minister for Young People and Adult Skills, Ivan Lewis, said: "Connexions empowers young people to take control of their lives, with services ranging from advice on potential education and career options, through to working with schools to help pupils tackle issues such as bullying, or intensive one-to-one counselling for young people with personal problems, such as depression, drug abuse or sexual health."

Connexions Service Personal Advisers offer all 13-19 year olds with a confidential single point of contact to provide advice and support on any issue they choose, from potential education and career options through to personal problems such as bullying, depression, drug abuse or sexual health.

This support is also offered as Connexions Direct - a telephone helpline 080 800 13 2 19; a mobile SMS text messaging service 07766 413 2 19; and an online webchat advice service www.connexions.gov.uk

A survey also released today gives the Connexions Service a 90% approval rating from young people. Of over 16,000 young people who had been in touch with Connexions, 90% agreed that 'Connexions has a lot to offer young people.

(GMcG)

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