A NEW project aiming to give the young unemployed fresh impetus to find work has been launched by the Department of Education and Children’s Youth Service.
Future You is designed to complement efforts being made across Government to help those not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
Principal youth officer Ken Callister said the 400-plus unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds needed different levels and kinds of support to make the transition from school into higher/further education and jobs: ‘Some young people make the transition easily and other struggle.
‘They might be lower achievers who haven’t done well at school for a whole variety of reasons – whether it be ability, social circumstances or health issues, or a combination of these.
‘There is anecdotal evidence of some of these young people getting up late, having no purpose to their day, living at the other end of the day and following an unproductive lifestyle and we want to break that cycle and give them a sense of purpose and something to get up for.’
Future You will see a team of three experienced youth workers working with up 30 young people at a time, giving them a chance to find work – whether this be through gaining voluntary experience, training, an interest, qualifications or undertaking supervised placements.
It will be tailored to the individual, and aimed at boosting confidence, getting them into a routine and encouraging them to take on responsibility.
Leanne Newbold, a youth worker delivering the project, said: ‘Our first step would be to meet the young person and identify strengths and areas they need to focus on. It might be gaining a qualification – or even gaining the confidence to start down that road if they haven’t done well through traditional schooling. We would want them to embark on programmes knowing they wouldn’t fail at the first hurdle and we will be guiding them through.
‘For others it might be looking for the opportunity to do voluntary work, which gets them interacting with adults, developing social skills and employability skills.’
The ultimate aim was for young people to gain jobs.
Through the project four youngsters, as well as a back-up group, will be working on Steve Salter’s outdoor adventure park at South Barrule. And a group of young women are now doing childcare.
Jordan Quayle, 16, of Broadway, Douglas, turned to Cafe Laare, in Douglas, for support after he didn’t get ‘good grades’ at GCSE and lost his job as a housekeeper at a hotel.
A couple of weeks later he was invited to find out more about helping at South Barrule.
Jordan, who would like to police training when he reaches 18, said the work placement offered him ‘the hope of a better opportunity for a future life’.
Without the support from the Youth Service he said he would be ‘just dossing around all day doing nothing’.
And Erin Brilley, aged 16, of Onchan, dreams of opening up a salon one day offering hairdressing, nail treatments and tattoos. She has been going along for a session each Thursday and is grateful for the extra support.
‘It’s nice seeing everyone and knowing that I’m not the only one stuck with no qualifications and no job.’