Young people are going places
For the last few years, the NEET rate has made national and local news. The rate refers to the percentage of young people, aged 16 to 17, who are not in Employment, Education or Training. In Leicestershire at the end of December 2016 the NEET rate was at 2.2%, meaning that only 301 young people aged 16-18 were NEET out of a total 13,899 people.
Prospects, the education, employment, skills and care company, working for Leicestershire County Council, works with young people who are NEET to help them return to education, find employment or start training. Prospects offers a range of services, all free to the young person seeking support, impartial advice and encouragement to make a difference to their lives.
There are many opportunities available for the young people. They can start a college course, an apprenticeship or traineeship, stay at school, start a job with training or attend a training programme. Advisers from Prospects support young people in Leicestershire find a suitable path. But the question remains why there are still teenagers not in education, employment or training?
Every individual has their own story. A young person may have fallen behind at school and dropped out, come from a troubled family background or have a record of school exclusion.
At Prospects, we work with thousands of young people across the country. Helping them find the right route and break the cycle of disengagement.
Jacob* is a young person Prospects helped. Jacob, 16, is from Loughborough and lives at home with his parents, he underachieved in his GCSEs and started mixing with a group of other young males who were engaging in risky behaviour. He considered college earlier on in the year but due to his negative experience in the final year of his GCSEs he never finished his application. Jacob admitted he had low self-confidence which would prevent him from starting something new. He had no means of paying for transport to opportunities outside of Loughborough, making it more difficult for him, impacting on his motivation and will to commit to things.
Jacob is interested in motor vehicle training. Through Prospects he joined the European Social Fund/ Skills Funding Agency programme, Improve your Prospects. Through the programme, he was offered vocational learning with a motor vehicle training provider. To help Jacob overcome his concerns about starting something new he was able to take part in a taster session before committing to the programme. This taster enabled him to experience the type of environment he would be learning in, this helped his final decision to take part.
In addition, Improve your Prospects were able to cover the cost of Jacob’s transport to and from the training provider enabling him to attend.
During the middle of the programme, Jacob was at risk of losing his place on the course because of commitment issues. However, his adviser met with him regularly for reviews and contacted him on a weekly basis to work through the issues he was having. By giving Jacob this one – to – one support, Improve your Prospects built motivation levels, enabling Jacob to complete the 12 week programme and achieve the full award.
Overall since being supported by Improve your Prospects, taking part and completing the course Jacob’s confidence has grown. Jacob’s biggest issue was learning in a formal educational setting due to previous experience. He has now overcome this and is interested in continuing learning to improve his literacy and numeracy, at college.
Jacob has come a long way since the start of the programme, he has now achieved his Level 1 Motor Vehicle Award and is focussing on his goal of a career in the motor vehicle industry.
In Leicestershire young people can get help and impartial advice from Prospects. We support young people to make the best decisions for themselves. Leicestershire offer two county centres – Hinckley and Loughborough where we operate a drop in and appointment service.
Councillor Ivan Ould, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “It is a privilege to be able to work together with such an important community organisation to try to challenge unfavourable education and employment trends on a local and national scale. In addition, we are extremely pleased that we have been able to play a significant role in changing the future, wellbeing and lives of young people, particularly those from challenging backgrounds, for the better.”
To find out more, Contact one of our centres:
Hinckley - 01455 632719
Loughborough - 01509 214002
Alternatively, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.
*Not his real name.