JOBS: Opportunities for “hidden” vulnerable young jobseekers
SOMERSET employers are being asked to think about the job opportunities available for young people who have additional support needs.
Members of Somerset County Council co-hosted an employer event in Taunton last week where young people talked frankly about the obstacles they face getting and staying in work and their future aspirations.
Bridgwater and Taunton College and Aspire were on hand with advice about supported employment through Project Search which is an employer based internship which supports young people into paid employment.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) were also present to highlight the opportunities available for employers through 'Access to Work' funding.
The county council’s spokesman for public health and wellbeing, Cllr Christine Lawrence, said: “The event showed our local employers the potential workforce they are currently missing out on.
“Working together, we are aiming to make our vulnerable young people more visible in the community and help them towards fulfilling employment.”
Kiah Durham, Somerset Young People's Champion at Somerset County Council, said: “Work has given me a more positive outlook on my life and future.”
Helen Higgs, diversity and inclusion lead for EDF Nuclear New Build, said: “The examples of work in Somerset to promote employer opportunities for young people with special needs were inspiring and thought provoking.
“Organisations, projects and the young people themselves shared ideas and experiences which showed that the smallest focus on supporting this group can be a life changer.
“EDF Nuclear New Build will focus on working with our partners to help deliver change in Somerset.”
PHOTO – TOP: Pictured (from left to right) are Joanna Whitehead, Somerset County Council; Clive Mallon, Somerset County Council; Dale Edwards, Somerset Chamber of Commerce; Carol Robinson, NDTi; Somerset Claims Consortium; Kiah Durham, Somerset Young People's Champion, Somerset County Council; Jade Gillard, Somerset County Council; Adam Tidmarsh (back facing), Department of Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus.