Nine unemployed 17-22 year olds have completed the two-week Rugby Empowering Employment Programme, run by Motiv-8sw.
Set up by Exeter City Council and the Exeter & the Heart of Devon Employment & Skills Board, he Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy scheme aims to inspire and boost the prospects of 16-24 year olds struggling to find work.
The pilot programme, inspired by the values of sporting achievement – hard work, preparation, commitment, skill and collaboration, has already proved enough of a success for the City Council to confirm that another will run, so more young people can benefit.
Karime Hassan, Exeter City Council Chief Executive and Growth Director, was at a celebration event as those involved completed the course, held at St Loyes Foundation in Exeter, on Friday (February 13). He congratulated and talked to the young people, and presented them with certificates. Representatives from local organisations and potential employers were also at the event.
Karime said: “Well done to everyone who has completed the course. This is an important project and an example of how we can use the Rugby World Cup to inspire and do great things. Every individual matters and it’s wonderful to see the confidence and skills amongst the young people, and their desire to take the next positive step in their lives.”
Sandy Park in Exeter will host three matches during Rugby World Cup 2015, with a range of projects and events including the Fanzone in Northernhay Garens planned by the City Council.
Cllr Rosie Denham, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “The pilot project is part of our work to make sure young people see the benefits from Exeter being a Host City for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
“It was wonderful to meet the young people and Motiv-8sw trainers involved. Employers are starting to connect with the project, which is fantastic, and hopefully more will come forwards to help us support Exeter’s young people through the programme.”
Each young person who has completed the course, has been paired with a mentor to support them as they progress, by seeking job or training opportunities in the coming months.
Jemima Marshall, 19, from Exeter, said: “The course has been really amazing and beneficial to me. I have been unemployed for four month, and was disillusioned with my career and life, and felt pretty low.
“I want to go to university and study midwifery and now I know what I need to do, including taking some short courses in science before I apply. I’ve got to know everyone on the course and it’s been amazing to watch people change and their confidence grow.”
Charlie Houlden, 22, from Cowick, said: “The course leaders have been great. They know how to motivate and really got everyone to open up. I want to get into IT and have managed to get an interview lined up. The course has been good for me already.”
Devon-based leadership and team development experts Sampson Hall are running the programme in partnership with Motiv-8sw. The trainers use performance coaching techniques to build self-esteem, self-confidence, motivation, communication and presentation skills, along with team work, setting and achieving action plans and goals.
Sandra Sampson, Director of Motiv-8sw, said: “The turnaround in just two weeks has already shown how you can make a positive difference, building the confidence and motivation of young people who might have got stuck in a rut or experienced difficulties in the past.
“From being shy, unsure or not wanting to engage through to standing up and presenting to a room of business leaders, is fantastic. They have worked hard, developed as young adults, and are getting on with trying to achieve their goals.”
Job Centre Plus, Active Devon, Exeter Chiefs, Exeter City Football Club, Parkwood Leisure, Careers South West and St Loye’s Foundation are all involved in the project alongside the City Council, Exeter & the Heart of Devon Employment & Skills Board and Motiv-8sw.
The hope is that potential sponsors can be found to extend the initiative through 2015, so many more young people can benefit.
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