Earlier today, Cabinet members celebrated 94 young people that the Barnsley Youth Employment Programme supported into work and heard inspiring stories of how they’ve been able to realise their potential and grow their ambitions with employability support.
The Barnsley Youth Employment Programme has provided 12-month paid work placements at the council and Berneslai Homes for young people aged 18 to 24 who receive Universal Credit.
These work placements were part-funded by the government's national Kickstart initiative for six months and extended by the council and Berneslai Homes.
Since the programme started in March 2021, 94 young people have benefitted from the scheme across the Council and Berneslai Homes. During this time, they've gained knowledge, skills and experience that will support progression into paid employment or an apprenticeship. They've also received support with applications and interviews, as well as education and training, with a focus on employability, English, Maths and Digital skills.
The recommendations will allow the council's Inclusive Offer team to continue working with partners and providers to support young people and people with additional challenges to access quality work experience, placement opportunities and employability support.
Lydia, one of the placements, said: "I didn't know what I wanted to do, and I discovered so many things I was interested in. I took every chance I could to learn something new and get as much experience as possible. After working with a team and learning so many new communication skills, I'm ready to take on more responsibilities and push myself further."
Courtney added: “One of the barriers I always faced when looking for a job is experience. I didn’t have much. I’m glad I took this opportunity because it has allowed me to gain more skills. Now I can give examples of the work I’ve actually done in interviews, which gives me more confidence when applying for the jobs I want.”
Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: "In Barnsley, we believe that having a job is more than just about income. It can give people a renewed sense of purpose and belonging by sparking their interests and motivations. It also supports good health and wellbeing, while helping people connect with others. The Barnsley Youth Employment Programme has given nearly 100 young people an incredible opportunity to get on the employment ladder. It's fantastic to hear about the positive impact this has had and the plans to support more people to unlock the benefits of learning and working in the future."
Read the cabinet papers here.