I want to post my huge respect for some of the great organisations and initiatives out there working to create experience and employment opportunities for young adults at a time when large numbers of 16-25s are out of work. On Tuesday I heard about a number of these via a workshop organised by the West Midlands Region Churches’ Forum and if anyone’s interested to follow up, here are some links:

Jericho (http://www.jcp.org.uk/) provide training and employment opportunities for long-term unemployed people, ex-offenders and those who for one reason or another did not get on with formal education.  They have developed a range of social enterprises from catering to printing, recycling to gardening, to enable people to develop skills and confidence.

Wyre Community Land Trust (http://www.wyreclt.org.uk/) started off as an initiative to bring declining orchards back into use and market their produce more effectively, but now offers a range of volunteering and apprenticeship opportunities related to countryside management, and has incubated a number of social enterprises around food, farming and rural experience.

Frontier Youth Trust is a Christian network working with at risk young people and communities to live life in its fullness.  Amongst other projects they have undertaken a very helpful piece of research with young unemployed adults and possible ways to help them (http://www.fyt.org.uk/content/product/cuf/one-million).  There’s also a free resource pack for churches.

St George’s Community Hub in Birmingham (http://www.stgeorgescentre.org.uk/) amongst many other things works with young people in the Newtown and Aston areas of Birmingham and has done some inspirational work helping young adults gain skills in growing, selling and marketing their own food.