Much is being done to prepare young people with the skills for work and to develop meaningful opportunities in business.
Yet the North West of England still has the highest level of youth unemployment, and across the country young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population. This shows that significant barriers still exist.
Our work with specialist youth organisations has identified the key barriers as:
- Fear of the workplace
For many, a professional environment is new and intimidating. This can stop them taking advantage of opportunities, and result in underperformance if they do.
- Lack of relatable role models
Those who do not have contact with professional business people are unable to relate to them. These young people are unable to imagine a route which could result in them becoming professional and successful too.First Day is our new Community Impact Programme, developed to address these barriers. We launched the programme at the International Festival of Business 2016 (IFB2016) that took place in Liverpool in June 2016, and where we were the philanthropy partners along with United Way UK.
During the festival, we achieved the following:
- 40 young people attended our First Day Flagship mass mentoring event held at the Convention Centre, giving them the opportunity to be mentored by seven business leaders from HSBC, DONG Energy, Bloomberg Media, Liverpool Football Club, DLA Piper and PwC
- We secured work placements for 100 young people with businesses in Liverpool and London over the summer and into autumn 2016
- We engaged with 45 businesses through our First Day programme, our supporter pod at the Convention Centre and through other IFB networking opportunities
- £15,000 donations received to help develop the First Day programme
First Day will provide a bridge to connect young people and employers. First Day will support a number of youth charities across Merseyside who are willing and able to encourage, support and prepare local young people to take advantage of First Day, and encourages employers and businesses to give those young people a meaningful ‘First Day’ experience in their company and business.
We will be looking to expand First Day in the future with the development of a network of ‘First Day’ employers alongside a bursary scheme for young people, to meet interview and travel costs and their personal development. For more information go to the First Day website.
There are lots of ways your business can support our First Day programme from sharing your First Day experiences to hosting a First Day placement, your involvement can be tailored to suit your company. For more information, contact Suzanne Treharne, Engagement and Giving, on at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0151 277 5177.