7 May 2021

YMCA Derbyshire is helping young people get ready for work thanks to a grant from the BBC Children In Need Youth Futures Foundation.

With funds secured from the grant, YMCA Derbyshire has added an employability coach to their team to run one-to-one sessions, including CV writing, interview techniques and job or college applications.

The charity is also hoping to give young people the essential understanding of real-life applications for work, how to present themselves at interviews and what would be expected of them by an employer.

Since the project began earlier this year, 30 young people who live at the YMCA campus on London Road have been coached and now they need the chance to engage with businesses.

Opportunities would be welcome from a variety of sectors. The amount of time offered is less important than the experience.

The employability coach, Jonathan Matthews, said: “By being involved in this project, Derby businesses could be helping a young person realise their potential.

“These young people could even go on to be future employees. They just need a chance.”

“I would love to meet up with any potential partners to discuss what would suit them and our young people best.

“Once a placement is up and running, regular update meetings would be held and advice and support would be offered if needed.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital that we are supporting our young people to rebuild their confidence. Many have dealt with mental ill-health during the Covid crisis, but they’re so determined and have passion to succeed.

“It would be fantastic to give them a taste of what they can achieve by attending work experience placements.”

Jamie, who lives at YMCA Derbyshire and joined the employability sessions, said:

“The employability project has been a very good experience, Jon helped me massively to get me on the right track and I’m looking forward to the future.”

Gillian Sewell, CEO of YMCA Derbyshire said:

“We’re so grateful to BBC Children In Need for enabling us to grow the employability support we can provide to our young people through this funding.

Each young person is supported along a positive pathway whilst at our YMCA and getting our young people ready for work is such an important part of their journey. We thank every business in advance for their support on this project.”

If you can give a young person the chance to spend a day or more at your workplace or business as restrictions ease, please get in touch at Catherine.white@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk.