Help Young People Make Trax with Barnardos

Barnardo’s Make Trax project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. The programme has recently extended into Mid Sussex with the aim of reducing the number of young people aged 15-29 who are not in employment, education or training.

If young people are enabled to access employment, education and training then everyone benefits, e.g. local crime rates and anti-social behaviour are reduced; young people bring a different experience, skill set and energy to the workplace; once earning, they’re able to stop claiming benefits and contribute instead through tax payments.

The support from project workers is wide-ranging and tailored to the young person’s needs and goals. It can include assistance with their career plan, motivation, work readiness, confidence, communication, team work, searching and applying for jobs, volunteering roles to gain experience, interview skills, transitioning from school or college to work.

More recently it has involved virtual, rather than face-to-face, support – exploring options for when lockdown is lifted, completing online learning, managing wellbeing and staying motivated during this time. Some have even managed to progress to employment.

Involvement of local businesses and employers is a vital part of helping young people into employment.

The approach and attitude of employers towards young people has a huge impact on them developing their potential short and long term, whether that’s at the stage of recruitment, induction or promotion.

Similarly, having mentoring support in place for new recruits can make a world of difference – if this is their first job then making sure it’s a positive experience means this sets them up for a lifetime of employment.

As councils plan for economic recovery and re-set, young people are a cohort facing a possible future of long-term unemployment. Could you be part of the solution? Would you consider recruiting a young person? Are you interested in running a ‘taster day’? Are you preparing to offer apprenticeships again soon? Is there a short skills course that could be offered to a group of young people? Would you be able to assist with mock interviews?

Young people really value the support received and it would be great to continue to provide them with opportunities to reach their potential – as one young person said, ‘I’ve gained confidence and realised it’s normal to have anxieties about employment and that I’m not alone.’

For more information please contact Catherine Pardoe catherine.pardoe@barnardos.org.uk 07783 847 655

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