World Youth Skills Day, initiated by the United Nations, serves to raise awareness for the importance of technical, vocational education, training and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies.
On the day, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will be formally launching the National Skill Development Mission, while non-profit organizations and charities around the world will be holding local events to mark the day.
One such event will be held by disability charity Enham Trust, who will be celebrating the highly successful Skills2Achieve programme. Skills2Achieve is a unique programme of support for disadvantaged young job seekers, run from four centres across Hampshire – Andover, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Southampton.
Each centre will take to the streets, complete with posters, leaflets, and quizzes, to promote the wealth of benefits the right qualifications can unlock.
Designed to help support young people aged 16-19 currently not in education, employment or training and disabled people up to 25 years old, the programme aims to help young people find work, begin apprenticeships or start full-time education.
Since 2009, Skills2Achieve has supported 2,718 disadvantaged learners, many with disabilities, to improve their skills and employment eligibility; of those, an incredible 1,378 have found sustained employment.
For Andover-based Skills2Achieve learner Ross, the programme has been life changing.
Ross joined Enham Trust’s Skills2Achieve programme in September 2013. Having left school with no formal qualifications, Ross was a very quiet and shy young man with low self-esteem. As a result of this, Ross felt he was not ready to go into employment and the idea scared him.
Thanks to the unique support he received on the programme, Ross quickly gained Maths and English qualifications, has grown in confidence and is always smiling and joining in with every project in the centre.
Building on his new found confidence, the Skill2Achieve team arranged for Ross to complete a work placement at Bright Horizons Family Centre in Andover, and he flourished!
“I really enjoyed working at Bright Horizons,” commented Ross. “So much so, I applied for a job there. I’m really pleased to say that I was offered the job and start this week!”