Teenagers get skills for employment market

Teenagers succeeded in passing a skills course
Teenagers succeeded in passing a skills course

TWELVE teenagers from Milton Keynes have received certificates after completing a course to help prepare them for getting back into education, or starting work or training.

The group of 16- to- 19-year-olds received their certificates for completing the six week programme from Connexions:MK, Milton Keynes Council’s advice and guidance service for young people.

Known as Reaching Out, the programme is designed to help unemployed young people develop their personal and social skills. It offers a variety of workshops, discussion groups, guest talks, and activities including interview skills, CV building, teamworking, assertiveness, self esteem and managing stress.

This is the sixth time that Connexions has run Reaching Out, with most of the young people taking part in the programme moving from being unemployed to getting a job or training place.

Connexions personal adviser Shirley Darrah said: “Reaching Out’s ultimate aim is to help young people move onto the next stage, whether this is further education, training or getting a job. We’ve achieved this with previous Reaching Out programmes by raising their confidence levels and key skills and offering ongoing continuous support and advice after the programme. Offering young people the opportunity to gain accreditation and qualifications builds their self-esteem and gives a sense of achievement, which helps them make positive decisions about their next steps.

> Despite the continued economic downturn, Connexions:MK reports that young people in Milton Keynes are managing to hold their own during the recession by remaining in, or securing, work, training and education opportunities.

The latest figures, for November 2010, show that the percentage of 16-18 year olds in Milton Keynes not in work or learning, at 5.4 per cent, is lower than at the same time last year, 5.7 per cent, despite the widely-reported deteriorating employment situation.

Young people can talk to a Connexions Personal Adviser at school and college, or by dropping into or calling the Connexions Centre in Milton Keynes, or visiting the Virtual Connexions Centre at www.mysaymk.com