Young people from across the North West are bucking the current youth unemployment trends with latest statistics from our network of Youth Zones showing 85% of members taking our employability course have progressed into employment, education or training.
Our ‘Get a Job’ course is now half way through its second year, and newly released figures reveal that 172 young people from The Factory, Bolton, Carlisle, Blackburn, Wigan and Oldham Youth Zones have completed the course, of which 85% have progressed into work, further education or training.
Of those 172 successful graduates, 53% of young people have already secured employment and 32% have moved into training, education or apprenticeships/traineeships.
The project, funded by Accenture UK and AO Smile Foundation and co-ordinated by OnSide Youth Zones, is particularly distinct as it allows our Youth Zones to support young people who are not in education, employment or training, as well as young people deemed ‘at risk’ or ‘hard to reach’ and those from deprived backgrounds.
Mahdlo (Oldham), The Factory (Manchester), Wigan Youth Zone, Carlisle Youth Zone, Blackburn Youth Zone and Bolton Lads and Girls Club all recently received a combined grant of £257,000 to implement the new ‘Get A Job’ scheme, which aims to help young people aged 16-19 years old get the right skills to secure employment.
The success of these figures naturally throws forward some fantastic personal triumphs;
Wigan Youth Zone’s current ‘Get a Job’ cohort have opened up their own stall in Wigan Market and are running it as part of their work experience.
The group who are selling sports gear donated by supermarket chain Aldi, have branded their store ‘Wildcats Sports’ and despite selling for a matter of days, the group have already raised £174 which will feed back into their Youth Zone to help other young people.
Initially the store will be open for two weeks but the group are in talks with Wigan Market to continue trading until they secure work through the course.
You can watch a video interview with the pair at the market stall here:
The Factory Youth Zone’s ‘Get a Job’ team has seen nine of its youngsters hired by newly formed Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho, located on Corn Exchange in Manchester.
The youngsters were put through their paces during an initial recruitment day and a three week training course. Candidates did mock interviews, trained in Pho’s Leeds restaurant and also did a week of work experience in various customer service roles at businesses including Manchester 235.
Lucy Taylor, head of people at Pho, paid tribute to the group. She said: “The unemployment rate in Harpurhey is 16.2 per cent – almost double that of the national average. Working with The Factory Youth Zone’s young people has been a fantastic experience and we are so happy to have made so many successful hires. All of the recruits were so engaged throughout their training and their effort has paid off for them.”
Carlisle Youth Zone has also been hard at work. Rosie Ward, a member of the Youth Zone who has a passion for sport, recently decided to take on an apprenticeship in a local primary school supporting children. Within the first few weeks, Rosie’s job role changed and she decided she wasn’t enjoying her new role, but felt trapped.
Nic Hewitt, Carlisle Youth Zone Employability Co-ordinator said: “Previous employment experiences have led to Rosie’s self-esteem plummeting and she was spending most of her days in her house, unable to socialise with anyone, showing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Rosie plucked up the courage to volunteer at the Carlisle Youth Zone to try and improve her employability skills and gain confidence. Since joining the Employability Programme in April 2015, she has decided to pursue a career in sports journalism and has been on a work placement with her local newspaper with two of her articles being published!”
Rosie will now be attending a work placement with Carlisle United FC, spending a day in the media team, reporting on a match.