Young people in Leicestershire across the city and county are one step closer to gaining new skills and moving into Apprenticeships or employment thanks to a European Social Fund (ESF) project happening in the area. Being run by Prospects, the employment, education, training and care company, who run the young people’s service for Leicestershire County Council, the project will help young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) aged 16-24. Prospects are working with Leicester Connexions, who support young people in the city, alongside other partners.
Prospects have successfully reduced the number of young people who are NEET in the Leicestershire, but for some, a bit of extra help is required. The ESF project, called Improve Your Prospects, will give young people the boost they need to get employed, start an apprenticeship or gain accredited qualifications to upskill them, which in turn leads to higher earnings. Leicester and Leicestershire need increasing numbers of people with higher level qualifications.
The young people involved could work towards an accredited award or qualification. Gaining a recognised qualification helps employability, but more importantly, increases the young person’s self esteem, confidence and soft skills so is vital in getting and keeping a job.
Improve Your Prospects supports young people up to age 24, including those wanting to look at a career, Apprenticeship or substantial employment opportunity, after being in temporary work contracts, or periods of unemployment. It offers a new approach to their future, working on a one to one basis with each young person helping them to put in place their own individual achievement plans. This personalised approach allows each young person to work at their own pace and achieve their goals, whatever their level.
Each young person will receive six weeks of employability support and learning, and this can be combined with vocational training up to a max of 12 weeks. Many young people are unsure what career or employment area they want to pursue and taster sessions can be provided as well as more in depth learning.
Alongside accredited learning young people could take part in relevant work experience and employer visits. The companies involved will be committed to supporting young people. For many young people the culture of a work environment is so different from school they are inspired to achieve.
Amanda Lake, manager for Improve Your Prospects is looking forward to the challenge: “Improve Your Prospects will give young people a springboard into full time employment or an apprenticeship to ensure a better future for themselves. Improve Your Prospects will give them vital employability tools and increase their confidence, helping them to re-engage and improve social inclusion.”
Anyone aged 16-24 who is out of employment or education can directly contact Prospects or Connexions to find out more about Improve Your Prospects. Young people who might benefit from Improve Your Prospects may be contacted by Prospects or Connexions Leicester City.
Prospects can be contacted on Facebook, search Prospects Leicestershire, at the drop in centres in Hinckley and Loughborough, online www.prospects.co.uk or by phone 01455 632719.
Connexions can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/connexions, at the Connexions centre in Leicester or by contacting Jay Boucher on 0116 454 1770.