European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Workforce Training Services - Get Connected 2

Get Connected is a programme provided by Workforce Training Services that targets young people aged 16 to 24 who are deemed NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and would like to enhance their employment opportunities. The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Participant's story

After leaving school this participant joined the Get Connected programme. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life, but was certain school was not the place for her as she had too many bad experiences which led to poor attendance. She was interested in Get Connected as it provided the opportunity to explore various job areas that Workforce had to offer and she was also keen to make friends and have something to do over the summer months.

The participant had some barriers to learning, low self-esteem and little confidence in her abilities. She fully engaged in the mentoring support and made significant progress in overcoming these obstacles which is clear for all to see, but more importantly she sees the changes in herself, which is a major boost for her self-esteem and confidence.

Training for Success programme

Progress to date includes being a participant on the Training for Success programme and securing a placement which she has remained at from day one. She has also been successful in gaining a part-time job with her placement provider, who is extremely happy with her commitment and dedication. She has gained excellent transferable skills such as good social skills, interaction and engagement, organisational skills and a great work ethic.

Her mentor takes great pleasure in speaking of her achievements:

“From such a shy, withdrawn, timid young girl, to flourishing into a happy, smiley, confident team player, with so much more to give as she grows! An absolute pleasure to work with.”

Hope for the future

When asked about the Get Connected programme the participant said,

“It was so enjoyable in the beginning getting to know new people and doing the team building activities. I look back at the year and see how it has helped build my confidence and give me better social skills. I find it really easy to talk to people more”.

Her hopes for the future are

“to become a fully qualified hairdresser and own a salon of my own one day”.

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