Grimsby teenagers sail to London to call for better job opportunities as part of CatZero scheme

A group of teenagers from Grimsby have sailed 230 nautical miles to London to call on the government to invest in North East Lincolnshire and give young people better access to job opportunities.

The district is placed in the bottom five of this year’s UK Prosperity Index, which measures levels of economic and social wellbeing.

The crew of 11 young people taking part in the Youth Futures Foundation scheme are meeting with MPs and decision makers to promote the fishing industry and discuss ways of making the area prosper.

Support for the challenge has come from CatZero - a charity in Grimsby and Hull which helps people who are struggling to find work by equipping them with new skills and confidence.

Callum Leach, a former programme participant, said CatZero's schemes have offered a lifeline to him and so many.

He said: "I was going through a bit of a rough patch and fell out with my family and turned to drugs and alcohol and homelessness, and they just really gave me more of a helping hand to realise there is so much more to life than going through the drugs and alcohol. I didn't really fancy going sailing, believe it or not, but I absolutely loved it. It gave me a bit of purpose learning all these new skills."

The Conservative MP for Great Grimsby, Lia Nici, said: "I was talking to the Icelandic ambassador the other day, and he was saying that Grimsby is the perfect location for wind, for other renewable energies, for food processing, for fishing, and so our geography is fantastic - we have just got to get the mixture of people and geography together again.

"If you want to be an engineer or sheet metal worker, I've got companies who have vacancies now where you can start as a sheet metal worker on £86,000 pounds a year. Where on earth in London can you get jobs for that amount of money?"