Local businesses, youth organisations, and young people came together on 29th July for the Youth Employment UK (YEUK) business breakfast held at Interserve Learning and Development HQ in the City Centre.
With attendees ranging from YEUK Youth Ambassadors to the Leeds Local Enterprise Partnership and youth organisations from the region, discussion was focused around creating opportunity for and developing young people. These are principles of YEUK’s flagship offer to community members; the Youth Friendly Employment Charter. The Charter was created from work carried out by YEUK in 2012 and encourages all of the YEUK network to collaborate on raising the standards of youth employment practice.
YEUK CEO Laura-Jane Rawlings emphasised that creating opportunities for young people has to become ‘an essential part of our DNA’. We can and should get more creative about the ways we do this, with the uniform 2 week block often not being feasible especially for SMEs. There is also the question of quality, with “making tea and filing” not being valuable for either party. With this in mind things like having 1 day per week work shadowing, getting a young person involved in a real project, school careers events, school-employer partnerships, mentoring, and even reviving the Saturday job can all be much more fulfilling.
Laura-Jane reminded attendees “We all have something we can give to the next generation, our experiences and knowledge could make a real difference for a young person in helping them to progress. I think it is our individual responsibility to help the younger generation.”
She called on all business attendees to consider the possibility of mentoring a young person as part of a new nationwide initative led by the Careers and Enterprise Company. The scheme, which has been supported with £12 million from the government in the form of a development fund for the project, aims to pair the most at risk young people with quality mentors in the world of business. You can find out more about the scheme here.
Read the full Press Release with videos and links to key information from the session here.
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- DONT FORGET our Annual Conference and Awards will be focused on Youth Employment Practice!