In a series of 15 Career WorkOut sessions at MK YMCA since October, 25 homeless young people aged 19-24 met and interviewed 72 guests from the world of work in a total of 348 conversations.
In a one-hour Career WorkOut, participants meet and talk with guests from the world of work in a carousel of short interviews about the guests’ personal experiences of work. The project was funded by the European Social Fund through Futures.
Five YMCA residents have progressed to employment and five have progressed to further or higher education.
Kathy Howard, YMCA Housing Manager, said: “It’s worked really well. The guests were very engaging and responded very positively. There was lots of rapport building and confidence raising. One resident attended just one session but it helped him make the decision to move back to his home.”
One of the volunteer work guests, Nikki Bloom of Job.com, said: “Seeing people’s confidence grow, and their belief in themselves, made it all so worthwhile.”
Another resident, Julian Roberts (pictured above), progressed into permanent employment as a Sales Assistant at Lidl’s. He said:
“At first I was feeling kind of down, depressed, didn’t want to go through the job searching process…but then I started laying out application after application. Lidl’s decided to come back to me in 2-3 days and phoned me up for an interview, and I ended up getting a job.
“It was down to what was provided for me by the YMCA and Worktree. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in Worktree (Career WorkOut) and they said when you leave here, take this out of the door. That’s what pushed me to go forward with work. It was either that or I’d be living in the same situation and going through the same thing. To be honest, at this point in my life, I was ready to do it.
“Speaking to the Worktree guests helped me out with my confidence and understanding how important first impressions are.”
Another resident, Sam Whittaker, said: ““The course has helped me realise you have to be willing to make the change,” said resident Sam Whittaker, who met and interviewed 30 work guests. “Everyone’s journey is different. This course has helped me realise what my own barriers are.”
Participants who completed the course received a Certificate of Completion, co-signed by Worktree and MK YMCA. Three gold certificates were awarded (for 25 or more conversations) and two silver certificates (for 15 or more conversations).
For Worktree to continue running Career WorkOut sessions at MK YMCA, business or grant funding is required. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact email@example.com, 07962 838685.