Young care leavers Aiming Higher
SIX young people engaged in Aiming Higher, a business mentoring project supporting 16 to 21 year olds in or leaving care in the Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas improve their employability skills and readiness to enter the workplace, have just completed its sixth phase.
At an event sponsored by Sammy Douglas MLA and held in Parliament Buildings last month, young people alongside their volunteer business mentors, social workers, family and friends gathered to celebrate their efforts and achievements on the programme.
Speaking at the event, Glen McQuillan, a young participant said:
"Aiming Higher really helped me with my confidence. The best part for me was meeting my mentor, which gave me someone to talk to and a chance to learn lots of new things. The whole programme was really good, fun and enjoyable and I would definitely tell other young people like to me to give it a try as they might like it."
Ten young people participated throughout various stages of phase six, which began in February and ended in June, and four volunteer mentors including Robert McCord from the Odyssey Trust, Colin Patton from Enterprise Car Rental, Carly Turner from the Now Project and Lucy McClelland from the Northern Ireland Assembly also took part.
The young people take part in business mentoring sessions, a work experience opportunity, work inspirations days and take part in team building and group volunteering activities.
The next phase of Aiming Higher kicks off in August and is open to young people aged 16 to 21 with care experience in the Belfast and South Eastern areas. The project is funded by Big Lottery Fund and run in partnership with Business in the Community NI.
Gary Cooper, Employability Worker at Include Youth, said:
"This programme is a great way of helping young people engage with business and achieve excellent employment outcomes. Upon completion of the programme and successful job interviews, three young people have been offered jobs with a cleaning and waste management company in Belfast."
If you would like to find out more information email Loraine Devlin, Aiming Higher Mentoring Worker, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media enquiries: For more information contact Sharon Whittaker, Communications at Include Youth, on 028 9031 1007 or email email@example.com (Monday- Wednesday)