Helping young people to feel good about themselves, their future, and their employment prospects

Our Space Training Academy works with people to reduce barriers to employment while developing essential skills – for life, and work – that brings them closer to finding a paid role and other positive destinations. Ahead of National Careers Week on the 7th March, we want to take the time to shine a spotlight on one of their projects – the Pick ‘n’ Mix to Employment programme for 16 to 24 year olds.

Backed by a Young Start grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the project runs three group activities each week – a wellbeing workshop on Tuesdays, job taster session on Thursdays, and an employability skills session on Fridays. The project name – Pick ‘n’ Mix – comes from the flexibility to attend all three activities or pick and choose the individual sessions that take your fancy!

­­The Pick ‘n’ Mix programme runs throughout the year, in 8-week stretches. We use a person-led approach, where we take on board the interests of everyone involved. For example, one young person mentioned in our most recent intake that they had an interest in beauty and nails, so this was added to the roster for our ‘job taster’ sessions.

It gets me out the house and seeing my friends is really fun! – One of our Pick ‘n’ Mix attendees

So far, 30 young people have taken part in the Pick ‘n’ Mix project. In our December feedback survey, 100% of the young people responded that their involvement in the programme had massively increased their sense of wellbeing!

The project has supported young people into many opportunities, including paid employment; work placements in the retail, catering, and community work sectors; and further training or educational courses.

We also work closely with other charitable organisations, helping young people to take up volunteering opportunities to further develop their skills and chances at gaining paid employment.

A young woman prepares a mannequin in a charity shop.

T has such a great personality, always smiling and helpful. She loves working on the displays and jewellery tasks – One of our community partners.

Other members have told us how the project has been a great source of support and encouragement when they were recently made redundant. One to one support is also available alongside our weekly group activities.

Are you interested in checking out our Pick ‘N’ Mix programme? Just e-mail to find out more about our next intake session and how to get involved!