2020 ESF case study: YouthActionNI - GET SET for Work 4

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.

Support from a youth worker

This participant is a young man from an interface area who had been involved in anti-social behaviour.

He says:

“If it wasn’t for my GET SET youth worker helping me face up to my life and what I was doing with my life, my future would be very different.”

While doing outreach youth work in the local area, a GET SET youth worker first met him. The youth worker started meeting up with the participant spending time with him, talking about the decisions he was making and how they were impacting on his future. The participant talked about wanting to go to Australia but hadn’t realised that anti-social behaviour could lead to a criminal record which could prevent him from ever getting into Australia or even getting a job.

Focus on behaviour

The participant needed a lot of one to one support to help him address the anti-social behaviour. He realised his friendship group and the lack of focus in his life were leading him to behave in such a way. He had stopped playing football over the previous year and this stopped him having something positive to focus his energy on.

He explained,

“I realised because I had no football I would now drink on a Friday, whereas before a game I never would. I would get straight back up on Saturday and drink again when before I would have been playing.”

Our GET SET youth worker was able to get the participant back into a local football team where he quickly flourished with this new focus, new structure and routine. He was training twice a week, playing at the weekend and was regularly meeting his new team mates during the week to do additional training. He became more focused, more confident, happier in himself, more hopeful and now ready to plan for his future.

Gaining qualifications and work

While on GET SET, the participant was encouraged to gain some qualifications within YouthAction. He gained his Construction Safety Register (CSR) card, a First Aid qualification and a youth leadership qualification. Instead of anti-social behaviour he started volunteering in his area as a youth leader for other young people.

With the help of GET SET the participant started to apply for jobs, still holding on to his goal of saving money to go to Australia. Thanks to GET SET he was successful in gaining a full time job. Whilst working there he started saving up, he passed his driving test and bought himself a car. As his confidence and experience grew he applied for, and was successful in getting, a new administrative job. He has been working now for over a year, recently completing a test to become permanent.

The participant still stays in touch with our GET SET youth worker. He knows that if it hadn’t been for GET SET giving him the right support, his life and his future would be very different.

The participant says GET SET completely changed his life:

“As a young man living a chaotic life I could have ended up with a criminal record.  Instead I have a good job and a future ahead of me. I am still saving my money as I still have a plan to go to Australia someday.”

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