Burnley businesses have been called upon to support young people in the town, who have particularly been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An unfortunate consequence of the pandemic is that the town’s 16–24-year-olds have seen reduced training and employment opportunities, as well as redundancies.
The Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub has been launched to help young people with training and job opportunities, including those not advertised or promoted elsewhere. Individuals will also receive personalised coaching support that focuses on mental and physical health, helping to build resilience.
Councillor Asif Raja, Executive Member for Economy and Growth at Burnley Borough Council, said: “Whilst the town of Burnley is resilient, and we can see that with the way the community has pulled together during this time, we also must understand the challenges that our young people in particular have faced during the past ten months.
“Statistically, it is 16–24-year-olds who face the higher volumes of redundancies, as well as reduced employment and training opportunities. That is why the Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub is essential and we are proud that our young people have this support.
“As well as encouraging young people to get in touch, we really do ask our local businesses to reach out and help protect that generation’s future. Whatever support you can provide could really change a young person’s life, no matter how big or small. We look forward to working with our town’s businesses, who we know are incredibly supportive of training young people, especially via apprenticeships.”
There are three ways Burnley’s 16–24-year-olds can access the Youth Hub; by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling them on 01282 686 402 or by asking a Job Centre Plus work coach to refer them to the Hub.
Employers in the town can contact Samantha Smallridge, Employment and Skills Coordinator at Burnley Borough Council, at email@example.com. Whether it’s offering work experience or opening up a placement, or providing coaching and advice, all support is very much appreciated.
Philip Jones, Director of New Services at Calico, said: “Calico is proud to help lead this initiative to ensure the young people in Burnley are given the best chance possible when it comes to skills and employment. This is a joined-up effort by all of the partners to support those young local people who are struggling. I really would encourage both businesses and young people to get involved and together, we can ensure we are in the best position possible to come through these difficult past few months and ensure a brighter future.”
National Apprenticeship Week
The news comes at the start of National Apprenticeship Week, which this year is themed “Build the Future”.
One young person in Burnley who has already benefitted from an apprenticeship is Charlotte Braithwaite, who is an Advanced Business Administration Apprenticeship with THEMIS at Burnley College.
Charlotte, 18, is in the final year of her apprenticeship at works at UK Restoration Services in Briercliffe. Following her GCSEs, she knew she wanted to gain practical skills and working at UK Restoration Services provided her with just that. From studying new projects and liaising with clients to completing essential documents and helping the office run smoothly, Charlotte is confident that her new knowledge and skills will set her up for her future.
Another young individual to benefit from local business support is Ebony. Ebony came to Calico as part of the Right Start Programme that is delivered at the Coal Clough Academy. During this programme, she undertook a two-week work experience placement with Calico’s maintenance and construction company, Ring Stones. Ebony’s barriers were a lack of confidence, motivation and no future aspirations. Due to the programme, she has improved her physical and emotional behaviour, and grown her confidence and communication skills.
Upon completion of the programme, Ebony has gone on to secure an apprenticeship in painting and decorating with the Calico Group, which has had a positive impact on her, her friends and family, including her younger siblings. Her self-worth and self-esteem has increased since working with the Calico Group.