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Preventing a “lost generation”

23rd November 2011 by Onside Youth Zones

In a bid to help combat the increasingly high youth unemployment, OnSide Northwest has been delivering free leadership training programmes to young people from across the region.

Over 100 14-21 year olds, from Manchester, Oldham and Blackburn, have so far taken part in our Young Leader’’s Programme, which aims to provide young people with practical working knowledge of communication, leadership and team working skills.

Jerry Glover, CEO at OnSide Northwest said: “It is clear that our young people are facing a tougher battle than ever to find a job in the current climate. History suggests that the longer they remain without work the more scarred they will become by the process.

“There are jobs out there for young people, they just need the skills, motivation and resilience to chase every opportunity. Our Programme aims to equip young people with the appropriate skills and confidence to fill the jobs that are available or find appropriate work experience to help them gain future employment.”

Young people that complete the Programme will have the opportunity to become a Young Leader and use their new skills as a volunteer in one of OnSide’s £multi-million Youth Zones across the Northwest or get support to set up their own community project.

OnSide’s Young Leader’s Programme tackles important issues for young people such as, what motivates them, how stereotypes affect behaviour and how to identify areas of success in their lives, to raise aspirations and increase their employability.

Speaking about his experience of the course, Josh Payne (17) said: “On the young leaders course I learnt a great deal of techniques that can be used when working with young people from all backgrounds, this is going to be really beneficial to me as a youth councillor in Oldham, when we carry out our consultations.

“I also learnt about how young people react in certain conditions and how best to deal with these whether its feeling uncomfortable or in conflict with others. I really enjoyed the course and feel I got a lot out of it.”

OnSide’s Young Leader’s Programme has been funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, an organisation that works with individuals and organisations facing powerful challenges.

Jerry added: “Investing in young people is the key to preventing a ‘lost generation’ in the UK. Everyone can do something, this is a huge issue for all of us, we need to work together and support this generation of young people move into suitable employment.”