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STEP's Youth Employment Project Launch

Gateway STEP is delighted to be part of a Youth Employment Project (YEP) aimed at helping young people gain practical work experience and skills to build their confidence. The scheme highlights how communities can create life changing opportunities for individuals to grow and prosper.

The pilot was created as part of Community Alcohol Partnership as a diversionary activity, to encourage and divert young people away from drinking irresponsibly and causing ASB issues. Working with Sainsbury’s and Tower Hamlets Council, YEP aims create change and to support young people so they are able to contribute to the community more positively.

The scheme is being piloted in an area identified as having high rates of anti-social behaviour, targeting NEETs; young people who are ‘Not in education, employment or training.’ The majority of students on YEP haven’t had the easiest of lives growing up and had to overcome a number of obstacles such as confidence, dropping out of school and family issues, to achieve success.

Gateway STEP delivered the first phase of City and Guilds Employability qualifications to a group of 16 -17 year olds in September. Young people who successfully took part in the programme went on to complete a two-week work placement at Whitechapel Sainsbury’s.

Shujel Ahmed, 17, said: “The course has really helped my confidence. I was nervous at first and didn’t feel comfortable talking to people I didn’t know. I have met loads of new people on work placement and experienced first-hand what happens in a typical day on the shop floor at Sainsbury’s.”

Sayeed Ahmed, 16, said: “Job advertisements always ask for people with experience. I have had the opportunity to work in different departments and learned so much in two weeks.”

Project coordinator, Neda Haghshenas said: “With an accredited qualification and work experience, we hope to empower young people and provide them with more confidence to get into the workforce. This will hopefully be used as a stepping stone to encourage more positive activities for the community."