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In a move to provide better opportunities for London's young people, last week Central London Connexions (CLC) organised an employment skills coaching workshop to encourage young people to think about their career ambitions and plans for later life.

The event, which was held at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington last Wednesday, was part of a programme entitled "Making it Happen", run by Martin Boothe, Suzanne Burns and Pa Joof. The programme not only encourages teenagers to consider their personal life goals but also pushes them to think about the sorts of skills they will need to develop in order to achieve their aims and increase their employability.

It focused particularly on strengthening young people's communication skills in order to improve their chances of getting a job that will give them the greatest sense of personal achievement.

ESF and LSC Support Two Year Scheme

Among those attending the event were several young people from the CLC's XTra4U project; a scheme designed to help 320 young people who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) get back into either employment, education or training thereby widening their options and giving them a more realistic chance of realising their career aspirations.

The two year project is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and co- financed by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). XTra4U began in January 2005 and has taken on 162 teenagers since its beginning, successfully assisting 47 young people either to enrol on a course or training programme, or to find work.

Benefiting Both Sides

Apart from the benefits that an employer can gain from having a pool of better trained potential employees to choose from, the individual learners are also finding it a valuable resource. One young person attending the event described it as an opportunity not to be missed, and a vital chance to gain practical information about what steps to take and what skills are required in order to make it in the hotel and catering industry.

Chief Executive of CLC echoed these views, warmly thanking the hotel staff for their hospitality and affirming the significant impact such events will have on young peoples futures in his statement. "The young people found the workshops and activities very useful and inspiring," he said. "You can"t beat hearing things from the employer's point of view."

Given the confidence and the right advice, these young teenagers will have a better chance of securing jobs that they really want to do, helping them all to build successful futures.

Sara Hashash

What more can be done to help young people make the choices they need to make? Tell us in the FE Blog

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