Huddled around a table in a Sandwell office there’s a group of young adults all with positive stories to tell.
Seeing a need in the local area the East African Women’s Actions (EAWA) applied for a grant to set up a Youth Job Club in a bid to support local NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and it’s been a huge success.
Project Co – Ordinator, Sarah Farah, said:
“The project went on for six months, now our funding has been used but we’re still getting new people contacting us for support! We can’t turn them away, so we’ve allocated a bit of time to try and carry on the project.
“Sometimes the young people have just come from school and they don’t have the grades to go to university, but we teach them that the skills they’ve learnt can be transferred into their working life.
“Even after they’ve completed the course we stay in contact, they can come back to us and get the support they need.”
One of the groups many successful participants, Cawo, found the Job Club a huge help after some unsuccessful visits to the Job Centre:
“I was using the Job Centre for a while, but they didn’t help much. It was my CV that was a problem and here they’ve helped me with that. We’ve done a couple of mock interviews and after 5 sessions I secured a position in health care and I’m also going back into education!
“As long as you’ve got that connection you know you can call and get the support you need. At the Job Centre I just felt like I was passed around and I didn’t know what was going on.”
Sarah is supported in the organisation by Mr Shomari, Career Advisor and Tutor:
“I’ve been involved in the training of young people for a long time. When they join we assess them and create a support plan.
“Some people were into work very quickly, I’d say 80% went into employment whereas the other 20% were able to go back into education.
Another participant, Pena, added:
“I was looking for part-time work between studying, but I was struggling. My cousin told me about this programme and that they help you by showing you different resources you can use to find work.
“They’ve showed me how I can apply myself in a working environment, how to work in a team and be a strong leader.
“Now I’ve managed to get a job at Amazon working in their performance centre alongside my studying!”
EAWA were awarded a grant of £2,000 from the Birmingham and Black Country Fund to run their Youth Job Club.