European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Include Youth Give and Take 3

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 secondary education with very few qualifications. He stated this was because he had a difficult childhood, a broken home due to parental substance misuse and, after school, living in a hostel. This caused him to have low self-esteem, lack of confidence and no aspiration or direction in his life.

A youth organisation discovered him in the hotel in which he was living. They offered him support and a listening ear. He had no employment history or CV but due to being inspired by his youth worker he decided to pursue a career in youth work. Although he was already volunteering, to achieve his goal he knew he still needed English and Maths qualifications as well as a better understanding of employability and the world of work.

Gaining qualifications

After meeting with the Give and Take: Start Youth Worker, he commenced the programme where he completed OCN (Open College Network) qualifications in Progression to Employment, Application of Numbers and Communication. He participated in a range of programmes and opportunities offered through Give and Take: Start, thereby increasing his confidence and determination to succeed.

Gaining employment

With the support of Give and Take: Start he was successful in gaining employment in a youth work role.

The participant says,

“Thanks to the Give and Take: Start Youth Worker and the Start programme. I would not be in the position I am in at present (without them), and I could have never believed in my wildest dreams that I would be a youth worker with a positive future.”

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