Over 80 young people attended the Youth Promise Plus (YPP) Next Steps event at The Studio in Birmingham, Wednesday 25th July. Careers experts from a range of industries joined the day, lending their knowledge and skills to helping local young people find their next career step.
The event was aimed at Birmingham and Solihull young people, aged between 15 and 29, who are ‘Not in Employment, Education or Training’ (NEET). Exhibitors provided a range of activities and information, based on their industry, offering the young people the chance to further their careers with them.
One exhibitor explained that “Contributing to Youth Promise Plus Next Steps has made me realise how many young people desire a fulfilling career but struggle to find the right opportunities for themselves.”
Youth Promise Plus Success Stories
YPP has produced many success stories through their work, including one exhibitor who attended the event.
Bubblicious is a new ice-cream business established by Theo. Theo’s ice-cream business developed from ice-cream to many other desserts including gelato, milkshakes, waffles and cakes.
“I started in 2015 building my own business and that lasted until 2017. After 2017 it collapsed because I wasn’t aware of the correct steps to take to design and create a successful business.
I finally discovered YPP and I managed to land myself a place in a pop-up business course. Through this course I was able to learn a variety of new skills, including web design and business management, which helped me create thriving business and for this I only have YPP to thank.”
Another element of the day was allowing current and former YPP young people to stand up and speak about their success story.
Mike took part in the YPP programme for 2 years after he decided he wanted to do more with his life. He struggled to find work and take part in training due to a lack of confidence, but with YPP’s help, he is now flourishing.
“I encountered YPP through the job centre. Before YPP I never had the courage to do anything but now, because of this programme, I have a lot more confidence to do things I never thought I would be able to do. I am more confident about my future.
I have always wanted to have a good life and due to YPP I now have that chance. I also definitely feel I have more to offer and want more out of life.”
YPP has helped Mike overcome fears and bring out his confidence, alongside giving him more knowledge and skills to create a better life for himself.
Shirajum came to the UK wanting to make a better life for herself. She was eager to find the right career for her but struggled as she didn’t know where to look for help and she couldn’t speak any English. YPP helped her gain the courage and skills she needed to achieve her goals.
“I came to this country not knowing anything. I didn’t know the language, the people or the place. This knocked my confidence a lot. When I discovered YPP it helped my confidence and allowed me to get out there and try new things. It also helped me to meet new people and even helped me to learn English.”
Margaret joined the YPP programme in 2017, lacking confidence and the skills she needed to have a successful career. Now, with the help of YPP, she has found her ideal career and is inspiring others who are in the same situation she was.
“I joined YPP in 2017 and lacked in confidence. Thanks to my Olympic mentor from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, I grew in confidence and was inspired to do more.
When I completed the YPP course I went on to mentor young people that were in the same position I was. I also took part in a level 2 mentoring qualification through Trident Reach. Now, I have been working as a full-time trainee intervention worker since May 2018.
Due to my experience I really understand all the hard work it takes to work with people from challenging backgrounds. If it was for the Trident Reach YPP project I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Tisharne also signed up for the YPP programme in 2017 and has made strides when it comes to her career.
“I signed up to YPP in 2017 and I attended Premier Training College where I took part in the Prince’s Trust programme. I am now taking part in a level 2 mentoring qualification whilst shadowing an intervention worker. I am really grateful to YPP because it has really given me a chance to make something of myself.”
Learn by Design’s Success Story: Matt
We are excited to tell you about one of our very own success stories, which came about through a similar programme to YPP.
We first met Matt when he was 15 years old. He had taken part in a NU-Futures programme we were working on, aimed at helping young NEET people.
Matt struggled with school life and often found himself getting into trouble. This led to him being unable to attend school, leaving him without qualifications or a career path. Fortunately, Matt found NU-Futures and although initially a trouble causer, he soon started to get involved and made a real connection with us.
Whilst taking part in NU-Futures, we offered him the chance to do some work experience in the office. This included helping with day-to-day maintenance tasks and working with anyone who needed him. He instantly jelled with everyone and really came out of his shell. He transformed into a pleasant, helpful young man and really left an impression on us all.
Skip ahead 8 months, Matt is now 16 and working for us part-time throughout the summer. He was also a part of the YPP event by managing the front desk and guiding exhibitors and young people into the event.
“Before I started my part-time job at Learn by Design, I attended the NU-Futures course where they helped me to get some skills and qualifications I needed to get somewhere in life. The NU-Futures was very good as it couldn’t have come at a better time. I wasn’t attending school and I had no options. Without that course I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
About Youth Promise Plus
Youth Promise Plus Next Steps was set up with a goal of connecting young people with potential employers.
Youth Promise Plus is a flagship project funded by Birmingham City Council, Solihull Council, local partners, The European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative.
View photos from Youth Promise Plus Next Steps:
Learn by Design photos here.
Prospects West Midlands photos here.