YOUNG people will receive tailored skills and employability support on an exclusive virtual programme with a transformative North Wales charity.
Sixteen to 25 year olds in Conwy county who are NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training) have the opportunity to join WeMindTheGap’s WeDiscover programme from February 14.
The initiative gives participants a chance to gain new skills and experiences and, with the support of a mentor, build a plan for a bright future.
Run in partnership with Conwy Employment Hub – which oversees the successful Communities for Work, Communities for Work Plus, and PaCE initiatives – it is a free opportunity for to up to 20 young people, supported by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government.
Participants will have access to guest speakers, interactive workshops, role model and mentoring advice, and sessions to improve confidence and self-esteem.
Encouragement and support are a key part of the programme, and after the 10 weeks ends graduates will receive on-going support as part of WeBelong.
Libby Duo, Strategic Manager for Conwy Employment Service, said they look forward to seeing the results of the pilot initiative and hope to forge even closer links with the social mobility organisation in the years ahead.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Conwy who are out of work and education to receive a high level of quality support and training from one of the leading charities in this region,” she said.
“The last two years have been challenging for everyone, particularly the vulnerable and those who are not in employment or lost their jobs because of the pandemic, so WeDiscover could be a lifeline for them.
“As well as the skills and connections they will make, being part of the WeMindTheGap community will have a long-term, positive impact on the lives of those who complete the course, so we encourage you to get in touch and be a part of this.”
The scheme has been a major success in Wales and the North West, and since WeMindTheGap programmes began in 2014 they have changed the lives of more than 200 young people, delivering £5.5m in social value and £2.4m in public savings – an overall impact of £7.9m.
Rachel Clacher CBE, Chair and Founder of WeMindTheGap, said: “Too many of our young people feel isolated and alone, especially during this pandemic, and don’t know what to change to make a change.
“Here’s a great place to start: WeDiscover is a virtual programme that young people can access from the safety of their own homes, that brings new skills, fun learning and new confidence in a supportive, encouraging, non-judgemental way. It’s a great first step to re-engaging with the world.”
Each young person joining the 10-week programme will receive a Discovery Box packed full of items to support their learning, engagement and, importantly, to ensure they have fun.
They will then go on to enjoy the ‘Discovery Village’ – a platform allowing for safe and easy access to a variety of engaging learning and development sessions, mapping individual progress and sharing ideas.
WeDiscover taster sessions will be taking place online from January 31, before the programme begins February 14. Weekly timetables will run from Monday to Thursday until the end of April. Referrals are now being taken.
Visit www.conwy.gov.uk/conwyemploymenthub for more on Conwy Employment Hub.