Why we need to support our young people through this disruption

11th May, 2020

Many young people have had their education and training interrupted at a time when they would have been working out what to do next. We had a chat with some of the people at Futures that are working with these young people to make sure that they can still find their feet and plan for the future, with confidence.

Julia and Caroline are Enterprise Coordinators for North and South Nottinghamshire respectively, work to link schools and businesses to ensure that young people not only get exposure in the real world of work, but that they feel inspired and informed to make choices about their own future.

"Local businesses and employers are ready to adapt and support a changing employment landscape and schools and colleges must adapt quickly to support the demands of the local labour market.

We broker these relationships to make sure young people have meaningful encounters with employees.Right now, we’re embracing the current move towards virtual platforms and continue to support schools through virtual workshops and guidance." Julia Matthews, Enterprise Coordinator for North Nottinghamshire, The Futures Group

"Coronavirus is having an enormous impact on young people's lives and so it will be more important than ever that these they understand the skills and knowledge they need to adapt to the business landscape in the future.

Being able access impartial, accurate advice about what options are open to them is also a big part this picture. We continue to work with local schools and businesses to develop and highlight online platforms for careers-related information and we’re helping schools plan strategically to maximise the impact of virtual and real careers advice and guidance on their students." Caroline Tomlinson, Enterprise Coordinator for South Nottinghamshire, The Futures Group

James is a Careers Coach at Futures for You who works with young people in schools, but also those who have left school and haven’t gone on to work or training. He really believes that young people's skills vital to recovering post-COVID-19 recession.

“Given the current situation, the majority of my work at Futures right now involves ringing Year 11 students throughout Nottingham to ensure they have all the support they need to make their next steps in September, whether that’s college, sixth form or an apprenticeship. We have conversations based around their career ideas, career planning, ensuring their college and sixth form applications are being processed and discussing back-up plans because of uncertainty. It’s all centred on their needs so we can help them feel confident about their future.

Before COVID-19 I began working with a young person who had been out of education for over a year and a half, without a job. He was unsure of his next steps but was determined to start afresh and make a success of his life after some previous misdemeanours. After lots of conversations based around his career aims and life goals, we came up with a plan of action for the following months. Together, he enrolled and completed a construction training course, gaining a CSCS card in the process, and since lockdown we’ve completed his application for college and he’s now started actively seeking employment, to earn some money prior to starting college in September. Throughout the time of supporting him, I’ve seen him develop a positive outlook for his future.This isn’t a standalone anecdote either, which is why it’s so important to continue to support young people with training, education or employment.

They’re quite literally the future of our workforce. They need to continue to have every opportunity to upskill, learn and gain experience so that our businesses and organisations are fully equipped in the future.” James Hughes, Careers Coach, NEET and Schools

If you’re a young person who needs support, or you know someone who could, please give us a call so we can work it out together 08000 85 85 20.

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