As World Youth Skills Day takes place, CXK reflects on the impact of its vocational skills enhancement programmes on Kent’s young people.
CXK delivers a range of skills enhancement programmes, designed to help 16-28 year olds, particularly those not in education, employment or training (NEET), to develop the vocational skills and confidence to progress into meaningful and sustained education or employment. In the past year alone, more than 1,600 of Kent’s young people have benefitted from CXK’s vocational programmes including Elevate, the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, and the recently launched Launch Pad, with a high percentage moving on into sustained employment, training or further education.
As part of its skills development programmes, the charity works in close partnership with a range of local employers to place young people into work placements tailored to their interests, in order to help them to build relevant experience they need to take those all-important next steps into further education, training or employment.
The charity’s Prince’s Trust Team programme, for example, is a 12 week programme designed to help unemployed young people to gain skills and find work, apprenticeships or return to education. As part of the programme, participants benefit from a two week work experience placement tailored to their area of interest, as well as benefitting from a mentor, and skills building workshops such as CV writing and interview preparation, to get them ‘work ready’.
The newly-launched ‘Launch Pad’ is a programme designed to help NEET young adults, aged 18-28 and living in the Swale area, to gain skills and find work or training opportunities; while CXK’s Elevate programme is designed to help young adults who do not have both English and Maths GCSE at GCSE level 4 (grade C) to achieve functional skills qualifications at the right level for them, while building a range of vocational skills, and benefitting from 9 weeks’ worth of part-time work placements in their a field of interest.
Griffin, 21, from Canterbury, is just one of the many young people for whom CXK’s vocational work placement programmes has led to positive outcomes; “Joining the Prince’s Trust Team programme was a last minute decision, and I was doubtful to say the least but I signed up and turned up Monday morning. Since then each week I’ve developed and grown socially in ways I never knew I could. I’ve done things I would never have done before. I’m actually proud of myself in how far I’ve come from before the course. Honestly it doesn’t seem like a big thing, 12 weeks of this Team programme, but now I cannot recommend it enough to those who want to find their true potential.”