Boot camp for Coventry NEETs
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Eight unemployed young people and five unemployed adults have been given access to jobs, after taking part in a Coventry boot camp.
It is the third time that local organisations have clubbed together to help young NEETs (not in education, employment or training) to become job ready and give them the opportunity to create better futures for themselves.
Housing associations Midland Heart, Orbit Heart of England and Whitefriars Housing worked with West Midlands Fire Service, CSWP, Coventry City Council Entry to Employment Team, Open Door Employment Programme, the Youth Offending Service, West Midlands Police and Coventry City Youth Services to run the two-week session.
All those who attended the boot camp were NEETs aged from 16 to 19 years old, and all of those who completed the course found out that they had been awarded a work placement.
Five scooped paid job opportunities and three are going for final interviews for paid positions, after successfully completing the programme.
An additional team of five mentors were recruited to help the boot campers. The mentors, who range in age from 19 – 49, are all unemployed people who were selected via the Job Centre, because of previous experience or skills in capacity-building young people.
Seventeen-year-old Tyson Waite, from Hillfields, was one of the NEETs who took part in the course. He secured a full-time job working as a multi-skilled operative for MS Contractors, which conduct repairs and maintenance for Midland Heart, one of the housing associations that organises boot camp.
He said: “Before doing boot camp I was working two days a week in a temporary learning position at Coventry Building Workshop, doing construction and intensive training. When I found out about boot camp I jumped at the chance. I want a full-time job. I’ve done lots of training in things like plumbing and engineering, but because of my low grades no-one would employ me. I’ll be 18 soon and I don’t want to be on benefits.
“Boot camp has been brilliant. Helping at the food bank showed me what it’s like if you can’t feed your family, and it’s terrible. I’ve now learnt more about teamwork and taking responsibility. I’m so pleased that I’ve now got a proper job, I can’t wait to start. I don’t know what would have happened for me if I hadn’t gone to boot camp – it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Jayne Burns is Tyson’s foster carer. She said: “I’m so proud of Tyson. When we were waiting to hear if he’d got a work position at the end of boot camp it was like my heart was in my mouth. He’s now got a job, and it goes to prove that young people can get on if they have the right assistance. Boot camp has given Tyson a short-cut route to his future. Thank God for boot camp. I wish that more organisations cared for young people like this.”