youth unemployment

The YES programme is returning to The Lowry to combat youth unemployment in Salford, as the UK experiences “record low” numbers of young people in work. 

The Lowry will offer any 13-19-year-old who isn’t already in education, employment or training, free employability focused projects from January to March next year.

At the sessions, young people in Salford can take part in a variety of creative workshops and placements.

They’re taught skills such as how to confidently communicate, how to secure a job by doing mock interviews and learn life lessons such as budgeting.

The scheme is part of the learning and engagement team within the Lowry that provides other youth programmes, work with schools and help for vulnerable young people.

It is funded by the National Lottery Community fund and Cargill PLC in Trafford.

Fraser Thomas, youth employability and skills manager at the Lowry, said:

“We are quite a bespoke programme. A lot of young people are referred onto the program for a variety of reasons.

“Some need to build confidence, some people need to transition into the world of work.

“We try to offer appealing creative outlets to bring them out of their shells a bit more.

“We’re just trying to open their eyes to other experiences and opportunities they might not have considered.”

More than ever young people are facing barriers when it comes to employment.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that the UK has seen the largest decrease in employment of young people (16-24 year olds). Some 174,000 fewer young people were employed this year giving the UK a “record low” of 3.52 million.

Employment of 16-24-year-olds has hit a “record low”. Infographic by Joni Sommerville.

The drop is mainly during the months of coronavirus lockdowns.

Over the next year, Fraser and his team at the Lowry will continue to provide increased support for young people into employment.

He continued: “The idea with the YES programme is that we try to support people through to after their placement. We may signpost them to a different opportunities or look at what’s next for them.

“It’s about creating those opportunities for them, that’s what we do.”

The Lowry will also be offering a kick-starter scheme from September in which three people will be offered a six-month paid placement.

Copyright: Percy Dean

“We run an arts award which we use as a framework to again do more creative activity with a film maker or a general practitioner.

“Some young people who have attended these schemes went onto to receive full time jobs at the Lowry and other institutions.

“A young person retuned to us who was on the scheme and off his own back applied to the catering team and got in off his own merit. That was brilliant to see.

“More recently we’ve young people who have just left the scheme and we’ve supported them to secure interviews, and they had gained employment.

“We’ve had young people working in the galleries, and give out paid internships working in our front of house team.”

For more information visit: Young People | Get Creative | The Lowry





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