European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Include Youth Give and Take 1

Give and Take, delivered by Include Youth, aims to improve the employability skills and self-esteem of young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), who face complex barriers to engagement and who come from communities of greatest disadvantage. The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Participant's story

This participant left school without achieving good GCSE grades. He had enrolled in Further Education but dropped out of this, which left him feeling isolated and unsure of the direction in which he wanted to go. At this time his confidence and self-belief were low.

He started hanging out with friends who were in similar situations. Not having any employment history or good qualifications from school, he was finding things difficult.

Give and Take: Start programme

He realised that he needed to change something, so he went to see a careers adviser who gave him a few options in his local area, the Give and Take: Start programme being one of them.

Having found out more about Start, he decided to join the programme and completed several OCN (Open College Network) qualifications, including Applying for Work and First Aid. He also engaged with Essential Skills classes and undertook a football coaching course.

The participant says:

“Give and Take: Start helped me regain the focus of what I wanted to achieve. Having the time, flexibility and one-to-one sessions helped me reset my goals, encouraged me and gave me back my self-belief. Getting involved with the programme gave me the opportunity to improve my skills and become employment ready.”

“I progressed from Start and have been working for a department store. Start gave me the fresh start that I needed, and I am happy and delighted with my work, and I know that I have the confidence and ability to return to study at a later date, if I ever choose to do so.”

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