Launched in January as a pilot project by Exeter City Council as part of its Rugby World Cup legacy programme, all but one of the first group of 16-24 year olds involved have gone on to secure work or training opportunities.
And now the Council is encouraging local companies to get involved, so hundreds more local young people who are struggling to progress to employment can reap the benefits.
The Business Empowering Employment Programme (BEEP) was launched at an event at the University of Exeter Innovation Centre on Thursday (Oct 1).
Councillor Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Tourism at Exeter City Council said: “BEEP is a fantastic project and we’re urging businesses to get involved. Young people are already being helped to transform their lives, but if we are going to build on the initial pilot project, we now need to work with businesses to help them see the many benefits that mentoring brings to their employees and business, and of course the huge positive difference that their contributions make to the young people themselves.”
Companies are being urged to look at the range of BEEP sponsorship and mentoring options at www.beep-uk.org
BEEP involves an initial two-week training programme for young people, helping them to design a pathway to employment whilst developing leadership, teamwork life goals, essential communication and presentation skills, before being assigned a local business mentor. The young person and mentor then meet to discuss progress and agree actions, with the mentor providing guidance and support.
Benefits for businesses include a seven-hour leadership and mentoring package, developing their employees’ leadership, confidence, mentoring and coaching skills, and the ability to build the relevant programme benefits into their own training and development programme for managers and other employees.
Motiv-8sw is a Devon-based training business which has delivered the successful packages all over the country and is now working with Exeter City Council on the BEEP programme.
Sandra Sampson, Motiv-8sw, said: “It’s already having a brilliant impact but to build on that initial success, we’re asking companies to find out more about BEEP and get involved. We’re looking for business mentors and new corporate partners. It was great to see so many people at the launch eager to find out how they could get involved.”
The launch event gave people the chance to see the benefits of supporting BEEP for their business. They were able to chat with mentors and mentees and representatives of Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board and Active Devon, both involved in developing BEEP, which has been set up as a separate charity.
Exeter-based PR and marketing firm Astley Media is one of the companies already involved.
Dan Pritchard, Astley Media Managing Director, said: “It’s great to be able to support a programme that is helping Devon’s young people get on with their lives, but which also benefits business. We need people to develop the right skills and attitude to then move into and do well in work. It’s also helped me personally, gaining invaluable mentoring skills which I’m using everyday in my own management role.”
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