What is Youth Connect?
YouthConnect is a two hour structured networking session where young people talk to a range of different professionals. Young people learn about the world beyond school, gain insight into different jobs and see where they might fit. Employers get to meet and engage with future talent.
“I learnt how creative young people are – they often think of what has not already been done. There’s a lack of boundaries to their thinking.”
Its a simple model but extremely powerful – and it is badly needed.
“Young people need to know more about how to access careers!”
We think the best way for young people to find out about work is to talk to people who are doing it.
Here are five reasons why it is so powerful.
1 Creates awareness of the world
Kids who lack professional connections are at a huge disadvantage, not just because they don’t know people, but they don’t even know you need to know people – that’s how the world works.
By meeting and talking to professionals at different stages of their careers, by asking questions and hearing advice, they learn what employers are looking for and realise they need to take action to get what they want.
2 Develops skills to thrive
Talking to professionals builds confidence and communication skills and an understanding of what is expected.
Young people realise that they need to be proactive and “sell” themselves to employers, ideally through personal contacts rather than formal application processes. They see that employers are human and employ people they like.
“I’m not interested in the stuff you had to do. Tell me about the things you didn’t have to do” Employer at Youth Connect
3 Builds relationships
In our modern economy, its all about who you know not what you know. By bringing kids from our community together with professionals from our community we build real human relationships. We have seen some incredible conversations, connections being made and further support and work experience being offered.
“It was amazing. I am now considering being a midwife” Anya (May, Health & Sport)
“I am more confident when networking and now know what questions to ask” Nnaemeka (March, Entertainment & Food)
4 Unpacks different industries and the specific jobs within them
Work is so specialised now, there are too many different jobs for anyone to really understand. YouthConnect enables young people to explore different roles and gain different perspectives from professionals at different stages within one sector
“I learnt that there are 37,000 degrees in the UK and how an idea of a job that you want to do can incorporate into different jobs” Alex (May, Health & Sport)
“I learnt about different jobs in technology and what different jobs involve” JR (June, Finance & Technology)
5 Helps young people find out what is right for them
Genuine honest feedback about what jobs involve and what is required helps young people understand what kind of job they are best suited to. It helps employers spot young people with the skills and attributes they need.
By connecting we can make better futures
At We Rise our mission is to empower young people. We believe that the more professionals a young person meets, the more powerful they will be. They will be more aware and more able to make a better future, both for themselves and for the people they work for.
We want to run YouthConnect in 2020, and develop and increase its reach.
So we are Crowdfunding and we need your support.