Going from a state-funded school to university is not always an option; especially considering university fees were tripled 2012. And even if governmental loans are available, not everyone wants to have that heavy debt looming when they graduate. However, going straight from secondary school to a well-paid job is not always possible, especially without the experience or relevant qualifications. Qualifications that are deemed, apparently, essential to have in this day and age, but are not available to all.

Skills to Shine is an organization that aims to create more opportunities for young peoples’ future careers but also attempt to create a link -or as they call it, “bridge the gap”-between education and business. Skills to Shine Enterprise Project specifically aims to help young people who are disengaged, unmotivated and generally unambitious for their future-for whatever the reason. There is no doubt that thinking about the future is stressful, but this organization strives to show young people that it can also be exciting and not nearly as daunting as one would expect.

Skills to Shine are a non-profit organization based in the coastal town Whitley Bay, however, the organization works with young people throughout the Northumberland area, where the unemployment rate is ~6% – a little under England’s unemployment rate which is ~7%. The organization is funded mainly by the National Lottery, but there is also extensive support from the community.

Skills to Shine is an excellent example of how an organization can not only attempt to successfully provide young people with experience, skills and most importantly motivation for their futures, but additionally aim to lower unemployment rates, especially for young adults.

How To Bridge The Gap Between Education And Business To Help Disengaged Young People

In July, Skills to Shine Enterprise project successfully helped 87 students ranging from ages 11 to 16-years-old by assigning them business mentors to work with. Furthermore, part of the project was for the students to set up a stall in Blyth’s Keel Row Shopping Centre to sell handmade gifts, including: chocolate, wood-carved animals and other novelties to members of the public. It is clear that when assigning the young people to these enterprise related challenges, this, on a bigger scale, subjects them to potential careers and future job opportunities. Also providing the young individuals a chance to gain experience and transferrable business skills. This involvement aids in making potential future careers seem more attainable to the young people but also provide increased confidence in their future and their abilities.

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Skills to Shine are definitely an organization to keep an eye out for; recently they formed a Young Person’s Management Committee’, and also launched their latest project “Into the Future”.

skills to shine

If you are interested in finding out more about these projects but also the organization, you can visit their website at: www.skillstoshine.co.uk or give their Facebook page: “Skills to Shine” a quick like to keep up to date with their projects and recent news!

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About Author

Jemma De Jonge is a second year Criminology & Psychology student at Royal Holloway, University of London. Growing up in Malawi has led to Jemma being very passionate about many causes, with particular focus on women's rights, animal welfare, education and poverty alleviation.

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