Published: Friday, 21st June 2019

Young adults are being encouraged to sign up to a free course which will help them become more employable.

Be Yourself is a free personal development programme for young people aged 16 to 21 who are not in education or employment.

Medway Council runs the programme, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus in Chatham, which gives young adults the opportunity to develop skills to enhance their employability. They can learn skills that can help with both employment and their own social and emotional development. The young people who take part can also gain Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) qualifications. 

Last month the council held a presentation evening for young people who took part in the 10 week programme. More than 20 young adults took part and 11 of them achieved at least one ASDAN qualification.

The programme utilises Medway Council’s youth centres and the facilities that they offer, for example, in Strood young people could take Be Active, a sports and leadership programme which used the sports hall. The kitchen at Woodlands Youth Centre was used for the be Skilled cookery programme which gave participants the chance to learn cooking skills and gain a food hygiene certification. Woodlands was also used for the Be Skilled computing course which gave young people the chance to develop their programming skills. 

Helping improve confidence

Jade, 21, has been looking for employment since leaving college three years ago. She took part in the Be Yourself programme and completed two modules of the cooking course and an online food hygiene certificate.

She said: “I have really enjoyed the courses. They have helped me with my confidence, introduced me to new people and taught me how to cook. I regularly cook at home now.

“I would recommend the course to other people. While I continue to look for work I intend to attend another cooking course and also the careers and employability one.”

Teaching young people vital skills 

Cllr Josie Iles, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “It is incredibly important to continue to support young people after they leave education and I am pleased that we will be continuing to offer this employability programme for the next 12 months. We are committed to tackling youth unemployment and schemes such as this teach young people vital skills which will help them in the world of work. I would encourage young people to find out more about the scheme.” 

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