Young Person’s Panel Review by Maisie House

On the 15th of April, the monthly Young Persons Panel met to discuss progress of the Norwich For Jobs project, and also to gain an insight in to the problems faced by a group of young unemployed individuals. This panel brought together enthusiastic young individuals, looking to get their views across to those who had the power to help, including an array of employers and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith.

Chloe Smith, started discussions by summarising the Norwich For Jobs project and its aims. Chloe informed attendees that there are connections in place with over 100 businesses as well as highlighting the achievement of Norwich For Jobs in helping 700 young people in to work in just over a year. Such positive statistics to start the session, helped emphasise the importance of the project and the role it could play to help many, like those in attendance, who were struggling to find work.

The young individuals who took part in this panel were pursuing careers in a wide range of areas including: security, travel and tourism, education and admin. With such a variety of jobs represented, information was gained concerning the different obstacles faced within alternative fields.

Discussions taking place on the panel focused upon the problems the young individuals had faced which developed in to discussions upon key topics including: the importance of writing a good C.V, work experience being vital when pursuing a career and the importance of mentorship to help guide young individuals when they emerge on to the job market.

Employers who took part in the panel included Kate Wilde – Managing Director of Engage with Business and Adrian Hallam – Sales Director of BT Local Business Norfolk and Suffolk. Adrian provided useful employer insight in to the best ways to achieve a good C.V. and as a result increase chances of employment.  Adrian emphasised that a C.V. should be used to show an individual’s character, suggesting including interesting facts about yourself that portray you as a unique candidate. Another employer Martin Lake – Director of Copy Print Ltd and Chairman of the Mid-Norfolk branch of Federation of Small Businesses, also described the importance of portraying your ‘keenness’ for the job you are looking for. This proved particularly useful to the young individuals on the panel wondering how to avoid pestering an employer but still show a dedicated interest when pursuing a job. Martin advised that if a job candidate shows a drive and commitment to a job (even if a vacancy is not advertised); this will make them a more appealing employee.

Also in attendance was Lara A’Court, a representative from The Princes Trust Talent Match Project. Lara identified the important role Norwich For Jobs played in exposing the help of The Princes Trust to young individuals. Those in attendance were indeed unaware of the help The Princes Trust could provide and left the panel with information of various avenues they could gain assistance from the Trust. Lara informed the young individuals that The Princes Trust could assist, alongside Norwich For Jobs, in providing funding to help young individuals obtain qualifications that employers now consider essential.

The result of the Norwich For Jobs April Young Person’s Panel was both beneficial to the young attendees and the employers. The employers provided their services to those present to help with their C.V. writing, as well as offering connections within the industries discussed. Martin Lake in particular mentioned the help he could provide an individual concerning opportunities within the caring industry. Witnessing results such as these emphasises the importance of the Norwich For Jobs project, by allowing young individuals to connect with employers and gain access to their resources that they may not have received before.

Following the meeting, Norwich For Jobs has recognised the importance of mentoring and now looks to implement this into the project more. As well as this, after discussions focusing mainly around C.V.s, the project now hopes to help more young individuals in the Norwich area by providing information and guidance on how best to form a strong C.V. With many individuals involved in the Norwich For Jobs project succeeding in acquiring apprenticeships and employment, there is now an aim to connect these people with those who are still searching for work. This would provide a forum to share experiences and advice as well as boost the confidence of young individuals who face set-backs when searching the job market for work.

 

 

Words: Maisie House, 20

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