Young people in Wakefield are one step closer to gaining new skills and boosting their confidence 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 Targeted Impartial Information, Advice and Guidance service, Wakefield Connexions for Wakefield Council, the project will help young people who are Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) or are at risk of becoming NEET. A number of local training providers will also be involved in delivering the programme.
Wakefield Connexions have successfully reduced the number of young people who are NEET in the area, but for some, a bit of extra help is required. The ESF project, called Improve Your Prospects, will give them the boost they need to get involved with community based activities and break the cycle of unemployment, low prospects and poor life chances.
The young people involved will 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.
The Improve Your Prospects programme will involve group learning as well as mentors working one to one with each young person, to individual learning plans. This personalised approach allows each young person to work at their own pace and achieve their goals.
Alongside accredited learning young people will 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.
Nicola Brown, manager for Improve Your Prospects is looking forward to the challenge: “We will be supporting young people who have been written off and are in danger of becoming isolated from their community. Improve Your Prospects will give young people an opportunity to turn their lives around. Some will have struggled at school, others will have complicated home lives, all of them deserve the opportunity to make 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.”
Young people who will benefit from Improve Your Prospects will be identified in schools, others will be contacted by Wakefield Connexions. Anyone aged 16-18 who is NEET or aged up to 24 with special educational needs or disabilities and NEET can contact Wakefield Connexions to find out more about Improve Your Prospects.
Wakefield Connexions can be contacted by www.connexionswakefield.co.uk or telephone 01924 371 579.