Frank Field MP
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There is some brilliant work being done to equip young people with life skills

29
Oct

There is some brilliant work going on locally to equip young people with the skills they need to get and keep a job.

I wrote in this column about my visit to the Tranmere Community Project, and last Friday, I visited another of our local voluntary organisations performing some outstanding work to help youngsters achieve their goals in life.

The Utopia Project in St Anne Street takes young people as they are and then works with them to overcome the difficulties with which, before they receive help, many of them struggle to cope in school or college.

The staff I met possessed a wonderful gift of being able to click with all the young people coming through their door. In doing so, they are able to instil respect, challenge certain forms of behaviour and to boost the youngsters’ confidence.

The habits, skills and knowledge picked up by these young people at the Utopia Project come in handy for when they pass the school leaving age, branch out to the wider community and, eventually, enter the world of work.

I was particularly impressed to hear about the Employability Skills qualifications which emphasise taking part in community projects, talking through lifestyle choices, independent living skills, work experience and building confidence.

Catch up sessions are also provided to those who have trouble with literacy or numeracy, in order to address fundamental skills gaps.

Might I make a plea to the authorities that, if any young person is finding it tough to find work or continue their education, or struggles to cope with interviews, they should direct them from day one towards the Utopia Project or Tranmere Community Project for some top class support. I’d love to hear from other local organisations too.

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