Our Skills for young people programme, which has been running in Dorset since April in conjunction with CSW Group has been helping youngsters in the area who are in danger of becoming NEET. We’d like to share the story of one of the participants on the course and how much she has benefited from the programme.
The participant – who is aged 15 and in year 10 of secondary school – was referred to the project via the school’s pastoral support officer. She was on a list of young people who had been identified as at-risk of becoming NEET due to reduced attendance and disengagement at school. The young person currently does not hold any formal employment history or qualifications.
The young person has a history of disjointed homelife and other environmental factors that are impacting on her engagement in school and other positive behaviours. She demonstrated a lack of enthusiasm for learning and absolutely no confidence in her ability to achieve. She expressed that home wasn’t an environment where she felt valued or supported and was now attached to a social worker who is looking at wider support to move her from home. Her goals were to raise attendance and explore different ways of learning to build a set of skills to take her forward. She also wanted to show how she could learn using different learning style – expressed that she was a visual/kinaesthetic learner and traditional teaching affected her concentration.
The young person and the group took part in an established social documentary photography project ‘My Space My Place’. She was given a disposable camera to take photographs of the things, places and people that motivate her to feel something (pride, love, passion etc.) at the same time learning how photography – partially documentary photography, can tell stories and impact history and learning. The group worked together to curate and manage a photographic exhibition in the school at the end of the project. Each young person decided on a designated role and her role was event coordinator – a task she had never attempted before. This was all mapped against her City and Guilds Level 1 Extended Employability Skills Award.
She led the group and also managed to independently coordinate a fundraising event for Mind Charity on the opening night. She made clear plans, negotiated with the school and baked cakes at home to raise funds. Going over and beyond the project expectations.
During the course she asked for support to look for a part-time job cleaning in the local town based on how confident she had felt during the course.
She also took part in a week long college taster exploring post-16 courses and was inspired by her new learning experiences.
She also has asked if she can act as a peer mentor to the next group of participants to continue to expand on her event management skills as it’s something she really enjoyed.
It has been suggested that if she commits to raising her attendance further in year 11 she could be given a peer support and role model role working alongside the project.
The young person achieved the City and Guilds Level 1 Extended Employability Skills Award. Her engagement and attendance at school has drastically improved following her completing all planned goals and targets in her Individual Learning Plan.
We are so proud of all the participants on our course and look forward to sharing more success stories in the coming months.