2020 ESF case study: YouthActionNI - GET SET for Work

YouthAction NI’s GET SET for Work programme is a regional youth employability programme for young people aged 16 to 24 years who are outside of training, employment and education. Operating across all of YouthAction NI’s regional bases GET SET works in partnership with business, communities and young people to develop their skills for living, learning and work so that they can progress into employment or into further education and training.

GET SET is part financed through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Overcoming health struggles

This participant is a young man from a rural community where there are very few opportunities available for him. He has struggled with his mental health throughout his young adult life and is living with Autism Spectrum Condition. He joined GET SET to build his confidence, to improve his mental health, to get qualifications and to help him work through his options for his future.

When he started GET SET he wasn’t very confident and found it hard to speak out in the group or to ask for help when he was struggling.  The participant explains, “I’ve struggled with mental health for a while and I know the small things really are the big things.”

Seeing real change

The participant wanted a programme that focused on the barriers and issues he was facing in his personal life. Gradually over time as he built connections with other young people in the group and his GET SET worker, he started to see a real change in himself. The additional one to one support that the participant needed has helped him overcome many of his barriers. He now feels more confident and less anxious. He has made friends and his mental health has greatly improved.

The participant is now more comfortable about asking for support with issues in his personal life and this has helped him live more stably. 

He says,

“I can see a massive change in myself from I started GET SET. I am more confident, find it easier to make friends and socialise with people. I can now ask for help when I need it. Beforehand I wouldn’t have asked anybody and things would have built up. Now I can ask for help before a problem gets too big.”

Keeping physically and mentally fit

During his time on GET SET the participant has been completing Level 1 qualifications in youth leadership and health and fitness. He has become more actively involved in his local community through his youth work course and now looks after himself better, keeping fit mentally and physically as a result of his health and fitness course.

The Covid-19 pandemic lockdown was very hard on this participant, but with the weekly online Zoom group sessions and the constant support from his GET SET worker, he got though the lockdown.

Hopeful for the future

The participant is now actively looking for work, has created a CV and has started to apply for jobs. He is also looking at courses at his local Further Education college. He can see a real difference in himself since he joined GET SET and is now more positive about himself and his future:

‘”GET SET has made a real difference to my life. I now feel more hopeful and clear about my future. Thanks to GET SET for being there for me and for all you have done for me.”

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