Business and charities collaborate to help young people Work It Out

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Responsible business network Business in the Community Northern Ireland, First Housing Aid and Support Charity, and DuPont Maydown, are urging businesses and community organisations to get together, collaborate and make a big difference in their local communities.

Through the #WorkItOut programme, organisations are working to provide training opportunities for young people aged 16-25 years in Derry~Londonderry, improving their skills and employability through education and training, and facilitating mentoring roles for business employees who want to make a difference in their local community.

Every #WorkItOut programme participant is supported to develop a bespoke plan that is tailored to their needs and reflects their desires and passions. They are partnered with a mentor from business who helps with training, education and employability needs, and supports the mentee when they may need a listening ear or friendly chat over coffee.

Bobby Whoriskey (Operations and Shipping Resource) DuPont Maydown commented: “I first became aware of #WorkItOut at the launch event for the programme.  There I met some of the young people who were participating in the programme and once I listened to their experiences, I happily signed up as a mentor right away.

“I have now had the opportunity to mentor a young person who had a very challenging start in life and the experience has been inspiring and rewarding for me too.  It’s great to see how young people with no work experience and consequently very few job opportunities respond so positively to being supported in their goal to improve their learning and employability. I would certainly have no hesitation recommending the programme to any organisation who can spare some of their staff to volunteer for an hour or two per month.”

Business in the Community works with businesses to facilitate employability interventions via #WorkItOut, recruiting the business mentors as positive role models with the aim of providing programme participants with opportunities that may not have been traditionally available to them.

John O’Connell, Employability Engagement Executive, Business in the Community, said: “When we recruit a business mentor they’ll be trained to make the most out of their role, gaining skills they might not have the opportunity to develop in the workplace.

“We assist employers and individuals with the associated paperwork, such as Access NI checks, to make the process as easy as possible. The time that volunteer mentors commit to is completely flexible depending on the individual and their employer.

“As a mentor, Bobby has provided invaluable support to his mentee, helping them construct a covering letter for applications, register with a recruitment agency, apply for jobs and search for job opportunities online, among other things.

“I know from speaking to both Bobby and his mentee that the experience has been a very positive one for both and we are looking forwarding to welcoming more businesses like DuPont onto the #WorkItOut programme in 2020.”

#WorkItOut is delivered by Business in the Community in partnership with First Housing and is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

If your business would be interested in getting involved, please contact John O’Connell, Employability Engagement Executive, Business in the Community on (028) 7186 1550 or email john.oconnell@bitcni.org.uk

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