Careers event to inspire young people into work or education

Picture caption: "Councillor Adam Ogilive joins Kerry Eastwood (far left) and Anthony Sanderson (far right), both 17, as they learn more about the catering industry from Edward Lee, Head Chef at Create."

Young people who are not in work or education have attended a special careers exploration event to meet with potential employers and find out what help is out there to find a job.

The ‘Inspiring Futures’ event was held at Leeds Civic Hall today, Tuesday 5 February and was attended by young people who are currently signed up to the government’s Youth Contract initiative.

The young people aged 16 to 17 will be able to find out more about all the services that have been put in place to help them secure employment including, business visits; short-term work placements and; ongoing mentoring sessions. The event will also allow them to explore different career options and network with potential employers.

The purpose behind the event is to inspire the young people to work but also to open their eyes to the range of possibilities that their skills link to. It will also be a learning opportunity and the young people were encouraged to interact with all the businesses and show that they had learnt something about the workplace and the way their skills and attitudes match up to what employers are looking for.

Local and national businesses also attended, to give the young people the opportunity to network and discover what a working environment is like. The businesses attending were: Leeds Federated Housing; Create Foundation; O2; Premier Inn; Surgical Innovations; British Gas as well as Leeds City Council Apprenticeship team.

The young people will also be able to take part in hands- on activities including a machine which allows surgeons to practice key-hole surgery, setting and decorating a table, making high quality patisserie, budgeting for a works project, testing new technology relating to Health and Safety.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services said:

“Helping young people into employment is one of our top priorities. Securing their future and raising their ambitions and aspirations is vital, not just for their success but for the future success of the city.

“Opportunities like this enable more young people to gain a better understanding and experience of work to help them get the skills needed to get them a job and off benefits.

“With the initiatives we already have in place we currently have the lowest NEET figures ever but there is still a long way to go to achieve our ambition to be a NEET free city.”

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member responsible for leisure and skills said:

“Doing whatever we can to help young people get the skills needed to get into employment is so important at this time of economic uncertainty - when unemployment is so high and so many young people are struggling to find work or stay in education.

“Our delivery of the Youth Contract and the Apprenticeship Training Agency are having a huge impact on getting young people back in to work, education or training across the city. This work will be supported by the Apprenticeship Hub when it becomes fully established in the near future.”

Notes to editors:

Under the national Youth Contract provision, the Government commissioned a new programme of additional support aimed at 16-17 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) to re-engage sustainably in education, training or employment with training.

The key objectives of the programme are:-

• to support 16-17 year olds and specifically those in the sustained NEET group and at risk of long-term disengagement to move into education, training or employment with training and to sustain this outcome.

• to increase these young people’s experience and qualifications so that they have the opportunity to continue in education and successfully find work, reducing the proportion who become unemployed in adult life.

• to test methods of local delivery and payment by results, increasing the effectiveness of these models and developing best practice.

Support is targeted to young people who are furthest away from engagement in education and employment and in those localities with the highest NEET rates. The young people get one to one support that enables; engagement and motivation; removal of barriers; and referral and access to opportunities, including support with applications; and provision from a menu of opportunities to match their needs and aspirations. These opportunities include:-

• the current learning / training offer funded by Education Funding Agency

• mentoring support from an employer

• mentoring support from another young person who is in EET

• work placement

• volunteering

• group work with employers to build employability skills


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk