A pioneering partnership in Mid Suffolk is helping young people to take their next step into employment, or on to further education and training.
The Together Programme, run by The Mix, Stowmarket, is being co-funded by Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk County Council and local employer PPG, and is thought to be one of the first of its kind in Suffolk, thanks to collaboration between local authorities, local business and the youth sector.
Local firms are being invited to work with specialist youth workers at The Mix to shape the programme – to improve the skills and aspirations of young people aged 15 to 24 and ensure they get the future job candidates they need.
The young participants will then go through a personalised programme of training and one-to-one coaching, helping them to transform their personal lives and relationships as well as learning practical skills to help them take the next step in their lives, whether into employment or into education and training.
Rae Warner, Together Project Director, said:
“This is about young people and communities building their future together. We know that as a youth charity, we can make a bigger impact by working together as a community.
“Thanks to the financial commitment from Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk County Council, PPG and The People’s Lottery we can develop a life skills and personal development programme to help young people discover their true value, build the confidence, motivation and resilience for moving onto their next step.
“The programme will be underpinned by our inspirational Leadership for Life course and with feedback from local employers we will identify the skills needed for young people who are not currently in education, employment or training to gain and sustain employment in future.”
Young people are also playing a part in designing the programme to ensure the content and language used is relevant to them.
The life-changing programme has received £40,000 from Mid Suffolk District Council, £25,000 from Suffolk County Council and a further $30,000 (approx. £23,000) from PPG, owners of the Stowmarket-based paint factory and global leader in paints, coatings and speciality materials. It has also benefited from £18,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council Cabinet Member for Economy, said:
“Supporting our wide range of local businesses to thrive and grow is vital to our economy. We’re proud to support this work, equipping our young people with the life skills they need, creating opportunities for them to take their next step and ensuring local business can benefit from the great pool of talent that can be found right here in Mid Suffolk.”
Cllr Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills said:
“This represents just part of £400,000 skills team funding for Youth Employment projects across Suffolk. This is all about giving local young people the choice and opportunity to get the best start in adult life, whether that’s through further training after full-time education to develop their skills or getting their first break in the employment market.”
Mike Walsh, PPG Stowmarket plant manager said:
“We are proud to support youth in Suffolk. We recognise the importance of growing their self-confidence and maximising their opportunities as they enter the labour market.
“PPG has previously collaborated with The Mix on our Colourful Communities project and we are delighted to continue this partnership by supporting the Together Programme through our community engagement program.”
Local firms or young people interested in finding out more about the Together Programme should call The Mix on 01449 745130 or email Chloe Davis at The Mix.