Rugby World Cup to inspire youngsters and boost job prospects
5th January 2015
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Launched at Sandy Park, the two-week pilot programme uses sport to inspire 16–24 year olds, giving them new life skills and confidence to help them progress into the work place, an apprenticeship or further training.

If successful, the hope is that additional funding can be secured to roll out the programme through 2015, so more people can benefit.

Exeter Chiefs’ stars including Luke Cowan Dickie and Sam Hill joined youngsters at the launch. The programme is inspired by the values of sporting achievement: preparation, commitment, hard work, skill and collaboration.

Cllr Rosie Denham, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “Sport can be a fantastic motivator which is why we’re focusing on supporting young people who have struggled to take that first step on their career ladder, building their confidence, skills and business know how.

“The pilot project is part of our work to make sure young people see the benefits from Exeter being a Host City for next year’s Rugby World Cup.”

Working with Motiv-8sw, Job Centre Plus, Active Devon, Exeter Chiefs, Exeter City Football Club, Parkwood Leisure, Careers South West and St Loye’s Foundation, the City Council and Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board are offering an initial 12 places for people aged 16-24 who are currently out of work or in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance.

Devon-based leadership and team development experts Sampson Hall have led similar initiatives in other parts of the UK and will be running the programme in partnership with Motiv-8sw.

Phil Sampson, Director of Motiv-8sw, said: “This programme has been extremely successful in helping young people discover what they want to do with their life and it empowers them to actually turn their thinking into action. It’s proven to get results which is why we’re excited to be linking with Exeter City Council and the other partners to make a positive difference to the lives of young people.”

The pilot programme will see the selected young people learn through performance coaching techniques. It helps self-esteem, self-confidence, motivation, communication and presentation skills, along with team work, setting and achieving action plans and goals.

The hope is that potential sponsors can be found to extend the initiative through 2015, so many more young people can benefit.

Marc Dibble, Exeter Chiefs Community Development Manager, said: “It’s a fantastic initiative and one that we are delighted to support. I’ve seen how sport can inspire people in different ways and hopefully this programme will do just that.”

Mark Shepherd, Chair for the Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board, said: “Improving the skills and employment opportunities of all our young people in and around Exeter is a priority for the Employment and Skills Board. This project is an exciting opportunity for the young people involved and for the partners who have been working together to make it possible.”

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