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Reading Borough Council is to develop an app to help young people find jobs.

The authority's plan is part of its "from handset to mindset" project that aims to address the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) issue across Reading and West Berkshire.

By developing the app, with the benefit of £125,000 of funding from O2's The Future Fund, the council aims to help young people aged 16 to 25 gain employment by tapping into social media.

Reading's lead councillor for ICT and service improvement, Jan Gavin, said: "I would like to thank O2 for giving us this opportunity to work in partnership with them on our innovative project bid. We want to develop an app that utilises the technology found in almost every young person's pocket to maximise their chances of finding a job or training."

According to O2, the Future Fund, launched in April, is intended to help local councils drive technology innovation, reduce costs and build closer social engagement within their local communities. About 40 councils submitted bids to win one of three funding packages worth up to the values of £125,000, £75,000 and £50,000.

Reading's lead councillor for education and children's service, John Ennis, said: "This is an excellent opportunity to give young people in Reading more tools in their job search in these difficult economic circumstances. I want to thank council officers for submitting this winning bid which will make a positive impact in Reading."

This article was originally published at Government Computing.

Government Computing covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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