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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Giving hope to the unemployed
Keywords Unemployment, Young people, Counselling
A new centre has been established in Stockport, Greater Manchester, to tackle the growing problem of disaffected young people who would otherwise have little hope of finding a job or suitable training course. Most of the young people who attend the Pathfinder Centre are unemployed and have little confidence or motivation. Efforts are concentrated on enhancing opportunities and helping the young people to obtain long-term employment. Some 93 per cent of young people who have attended say they would recommend it to a friend.
Many of the resources of the Stockport and High Peak Training and Enterprise Council have been invested in the centre. Trevor Jones, Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) Chief Executive, said:
The Pathfinder Centre is one of the most innovative and exciting ventures we have embarked upon. We are convinced it will make a major contribution to maximizing the potential of young people, particularly those at most disadvantage.
The young people who are referred to the centre by the careers service and TEC take part in a two-week assessment programme, known as Springboard. This focuses on developing basic skills, motivation and basic understanding of the world of work, especially in relation to the needs of local employers. The activities are largely based around group exercises and include using a computer, operating a video camera, climbing and abseiling.
Young people continue to receive support and advice from the centre's tracking team for 13 weeks after completing the programme. The team seeks to help to resolve any difficulties and to try to ensure that young people remain on their training programmes.
In its first year, the Pathfinder Centre has helped almost 200 young people. After finishing the programme, 43 per cent have gone on to further training, 19 per cent have found employment and 5 per cent have gone into further education.