The Youth Employability Support (YES) Project supports local young people aged 15-24 to overcome challenges and barriers that have prevented them from finding a job or seeking further education. Leicestershire Cares is one of four youth organisations and charities across Leicester and Leicestershire delivering the YES project. Leicestershire Cares offers one-to-one and group support aimed at equipping young people with employability skills, work experience and helping them gain qualifications.
The project is funded through the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund and is managed by Voluntary Action Leicestershire (VAL).
Early 2022 saw Leicestershire Cares secure an extension in funding for the YES Project through a competitive process, where the team were given the full funding from the previous year to continue delivering the employability aspect of the project until its end in February 2023. This was mainly down to the hard work put in by the entire YES team during lockdown and the transition out of it, with a creative and agile approach throughout, consistently delivering a high level of support to YES participants.
At the start of 2022, the YES team implemented Get Ahead, a six-week employability programme covering everything from CV support, workplace behaviours and mock interviews. This was implemented as part of the transition out of lockdown to add more structure to participants’ YES experience. Since launching Get Ahead in January 2022, the team have delivered four Get Ahead programmes to 18 young people. The programmes were supported by six different business volunteers, some on multiple occasions.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate with the mock interviews, it was an enjoyable experienceBusiness volunteer from CPW
This year also saw the return of World of Work Tours on the YES Project, the first being at a leisure centre in Wigston. Since then, YES participants have visited four more sites across the city and county including Everards, Walker & Son and Sytner with more planned for the rest of 2022. These tours have been enjoyed by participants and have inspired them to consider different roles, as well as allowed the YES team to build stronger relationships with business members.
My journey on the YES Project has been great so far! Since starting I’ve been able to find my motivation for doing job applications independently. Being on the YES Project has given me a lot of insight into the employment world.YES Participant
A key success this year has been the relationship built between The Way Of The Horse and Leicestershire Cares. This meant that participants accessing the project could attend Project Pony, an equine based well-being support programme that increased confidence, self-esteem and engagement across the young people on the project. This aimed to address the poor mental health of YES participants, which was identified as one of their main barriers to gaining employment
Helping these young adults build life-changing skills brought a smile to all of our faces. Some of these young people have had the most challenging beginnings and we are lucky enough to be supporting them. They were the most humble, appreciative young people who were so eager to learn and growDina Shale, CEO, The Way of The Horse