We’ll always give them the chance they deserve
By Ashley Evans – Employment Liaison Officer
Take a moment to think about how important your job is to you. What does it mean to you? What does it bring to your life? I’d imagine most people will say things like – purpose, structure, direction, security, confidence – core values we all need in order to feel well-balanced.
But what if you’re 17, your family broke down during your school years, which meant you struggled to understand and learn from what your teachers were telling you. You found things so tough that the idea of trying to do your GCSE’s frightened you into not attending but now every job application you’re faced with asks for grades and experience you don’t have. What do you do? How does the constant rejection or isolation make you feel?
The world of work is an essential place for us all to be a part of throughout our lives but almost all of the young people I see come through Llamau’s Learning 4 Life centres have never been a part of it. Not because they don’t want to be and definitely not because they don’t have the potential to be, but because they’ve not had the right support or been given the chance they deserve.
This is why I believe so strongly in Llamau’s employment programme, Symud Ymlaen Moving Forward. Every young person that joins the programme is given a chance the minute they walk through the door. A chance some young people have never had in their entire lives. A chance to change their life. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to see first-hand what being given that chance means to young people and what they can go on to achieve when armed with the belief that they are capable.
Just like we’re able to make choices about our future, so are the young people joining our programme. At the start of their journey with us, we take time to consider different industries of employment and ask the young person to pick areas they might like to work in once they’ve completed their pre-employment training with us. This helps us tailor their studies towards their chosen trade or sector as well as giving us a starting point to search for relevant placements.
As you can imagine, Covid and lockdown has put a few barriers in our way meaning we’ve had less industries available for young people to choose from. But when this has happened, the young people have shown great agility and resilience in picking another option. The tenacity of some young people is remarkable and should act as a reminder of their true potential.
We all know how much there is to consider before starting a job, current or new. We think about our appearance and personal hygiene; we consider situations that might arise and how we might deal with them; we get an early night in because we know how important sleep is to help us feel ready for our day. So before a young person begins any work placement through Symud Ymlaen Moving Forward, they undergo a pre-employment course that aims to prepare them with these same skills and knowledge so that when they walk through their new employer’s doors, they’re ready.
To anyone wondering why a homelessness charity invests so much of its time and energy into supporting young people into education and employment, I’d say this…
Remember the huge part education and employment plays in helping to shape us as individuals, and as contributing members of our local communities. Having a job or a purpose through study makes a massive difference in preventing homelessness. So if we want to see a world where homelessness no longer exists, we cannot forget the importance that education and employment play in that picture. Help us give young people their chance.
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Of the young people supported through our Learning, Training and Employment programmes 71% moved on positively into sustainable further education or employment.