'Chris Grayling the Employment Minister gave a speech, which urged British companies to 'put local recruits first', saying: “It’s easy to hire someone from Eastern Europe with five years’ experience who has had the get up and go to cross a continent in search for work.” Ahem, yes it is. But there are “gems” closer to home, too, he insisted, although these can appear as diamonds in the rough: “Very often the surly young man in a hoodie who turns up looking unwilling to work can turn into an excited and motivated employee.”’ - Jenny McCartney, Telegraph.
'Sometimes a hoodie just doesn't fit the bill for a boss'
I started off feeling quite happy a member of the Government was recognising that there are diamonds in the rough but quickly became ‘miffed’ at the following remarks; Jenny McCartney saying that young people turn up to interviews as if they can’t be bothered or they are unwilling to work. For one I think you have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they DO wish to work, for the sheer fact that they are sitting in front of you! Secondly, has anyone ever thought that if they look uninterested it might be because they have reserved themselves to being rejected once again due to ‘lack of experience’?
I’ve learned a really big lesson over the last few weeks- ‘stay focused!’ No one else can do this for you and if you lose focus, you lose momentum.
I’m a very driven person and I push myself to deliver the best service I can for my young people and my organisation. I love my job and rarely a day passes that I’m not bringing my laptop home to continue working on something, writing up session plans or researching for a project. This, I am told by many, is madness!
Over the last few months I have been moving forward with my plans to run my own business offering freelance consultancy and tailored packages to organisations working with/intending to work with young people. (hence the reason I started this blog)
Although my job is a contract, funded by the Big Lottery-it’s still a job I have until next summer- but my god does it keep me busy! Which brings me to the title of this entry..
There have been lots of amazing things happening with my groups lately! We’ve delivered great events, secured contracts and even won an award. Being busy however, has distracted me from pushing forward with my plans for the future.
This is my first blog post since the end of October, I have favourite tweets that I keep meaning to write posts about or research, and I have a website I am yet to set up!
So what am I trying to tell you? -: don’t underestimate the sheer dedication and organisation needed to keep momentum. You can achieve anything- but ensure you break it down into regular bite size chunks that work for you. My diary is now a colour coded masterpiece dictating when I will post blogs, work on the web page and obviously my paid work!
Your last point hit the nail on the head for me. Youth Work is a business, and Youth Workers typically are not taught how to run it unless they climb the ladder to become CEO of the charity or centre. This requires extra training ON TOP of the original NVQ or Degree they took in Youth Studies.
Yes money is tight- you can still squeeze it from somewhere but innovation is key, networking is key- and people actually being willing to share is key! As a youth worker I see too many people being too precious about their work; especially between statutory and voluntary sectors. If you took away that narcissism of selfishness then surely we would be providing a better well rounded holistic service to our youth?!
Personally I believe if I have something:- a skill, information, a session plan that someone else can use to help their young people they can take it- heck, I’ll even teach them it- this is what’s missing right now. That age old notion of help thy neighbour!
Big society…where is it??
I think though- youth workers need to stop relying so much on funding. Funding s great- but think about your mind as the creative tool it was intended to be. You have so much within yourself that is free before you look elsewhere! Why not seek support from others too to see if you can borrow things- then save the funding for the really important stuff- like accrediting young people’s learning, and paying for more apprenticeships, or more wages!?
Check out these fantastic photos that use Valencia, one of the new filters added in v2.0, for the last installment of our hash-tagged filter feature. You can check out more images posted under the #valencia tag from Profile > Search Instagram > Tags.
A fab, funky website and a founder behind it to match!
Ok- So this connection started with me asking Jon if I could put his poster about Apprenticeships up in my centres too or if it was just aimed at a specific region/ status of young people (such as those in college)
Subsequently he checked out the website that young people I work with have built for our project and thought it was great- I couldn’t agree more! ;) Plugging our own projects and work unashamedly I was really pleased to see that Jon is an apprentice himself and has set up Orangeo to offer support and advice to other young people thinking about them- from a young persons perspective!
Just what we need- someone giving real, on the job experience and advice about a career option for young people! I’ll continue to follow his progress, and share the site with young people I work with too!
What an amazing guy! I found out about James whilst scouting out the O2 Think Big project website for my own venture. I have been involved with Housing since I started my career in Youth Work. Maybe it’s just coincidence but I’ve always landed jobs with housing providers!
James is highlighting a really important issue to the mass via the most amazing creativity. I’m really into visual arts and especially photography so it has been a pleasure to see the brilliant work James is putting together.
'Homelessness and the Arts uses Artwork (Paintings, poetry, literature, video, drama etc.) To challenge the negative stereotypes associated with Youth Homelessness, give Young, (ex)homeless people a voice to raise their concerns about the Homelessness System, how the Support available can be improved, and to break the stereotypes that they lack ambition, motivation, and will rely on state benefits for the rest of their lives.'
When you walk past a Homeless person….do you notice them….if you do are you kind to them..? Or do you think to yourself that they have brought it upon themselves? Something to consider and challenge yourself on at least!
I’ve had a few chats with James now and intend to support his venture in any way I can. Previous to my current role I used to be a Youth Homeless Prevention Worker and dabble in photography, so I’m hoping we can link in somehow to continue the big impact he’s making!
I can’t even remember how we actually began talking over Twitter?! However, more to the point is that we’re still engaging in conversation, both on and off Twitter. David is inspiring me everyday. He has shared valuable information and advice with me which I continue to absorb with full appreciation and intend to use!
Seeing what he has achieved and witnessing what he intends to achieve leaves me in awe quite literally of his caliber, and his dedication to supporting and motivating young people to achieve! Should anyone reading this be looking for someone to speak to their students/young people, seriously give Dave a call!
If one day I am even half as successful as Mr McQueen- I will consider myself very lucky indeed! I look forward to anything that networking with him might bring in the future!
For me, I’ve noticed one of the most valuable things I can do to support me in setting up my business is to network. My most vital asset in this task is my twitter account!
Add to this the fact that I have just recently bought my first ever iPhone- and BOOM! I’m away, speedily reading articles from people’s tweet links, replying to someone who’s mentioned me and asking and responding to questions about my profession.
It is such an amazingly brilliant platform for networking. And so, that is why I have chosen to highlight each week- wherever possible- one of the many fabulous people I have networked with, met or done business with all through the wonders of Twitter!
One piece of advice to all those setting up- or even remotely thinking of the idea of setting up a business…NETWORK! Follow my top tips:
1: Tweet Regularly-and relevantly
2: Say hello to someone who is already doing what you want to do
3: Join the conversation! If people are tweeting about a particular issue and you have something to say- say it! Get yourself noticed and show people your caliber!
4:Don’t be afraid to ask! As they say up North- ‘shy bairns get nout’ in other words- you ever know if someone can help, has a job, opportunity or great piece of advice for you unless you ask!
5:Learn some social media etiquette. Personally I prefer to engage with other ‘tweeps’ rather than bombard them with what I’m doing and asking them to Re-tweet to the world and his wife. It’s about quality of ‘tweeps’- not quantity!
One Million: reasons not to look at your bank statement
Or One Million young people unemployed in the UK- Unemployment in Britain at its highest in 17 years. Jobless rate amongst eligible 16-25 year olds is at 21%!
This morning started off with a marathon of tweets about the state of affairs with youth unemployment. Quite rightly in a conversation with @davidmqueen we mentioned that Youth Work is not the answer to Youth unemployment- that is a bigger conversation altogether. I think it’s important to remember this. Youth work can do so much, but we need to be engaging our young people in politics, in shaping services, in creating them. They need the enthusiasm and ‘get up and go’ to, well, go get it!
It may be down to work, family, the government, trying to learn a new skill…absolutely anything! Mine right now, is living rural.
I’m not saying it’s completely a bad thing. I live in the beautiful North Yorkshire Countryside surrounded by rolling hills, quaint little market towns, vintage shops and tea rooms galore (erm, has anyone ever been to Betty’s Tearoom?- then you know what I mean, YUM)!
The downside? You try living in a rural area with poor transport links, poor access to jobs (unless you are able to drive for miles), the nearest college being 20 miles away in the nearest town and pretty much nothing to do in your local community unless you want a haircut, a pint, or a scone with jam!
I had the privilege to work with some amazing young people in my local community when I started out as an Apprentice Youth Worker 7 years ago. I still see them milling about town and take time to see what they’re up to, and it’s these conversations that have led me toward wanting to start this social enterprise.
The ones that really needed the help and support, really needed the empowerment and belief from someone that they were worth something..are still stuck in that same place. Lauren, one of my old stars, is an absolute pleasure to be around- she knows what she wants and has the passion- just not the skills or the access to them.
We’re aiming to change this…somehow. She’s my little sidekick and we’re determined to get some provision back into our small town to support young people who feel left behind. The only thing bugging us right now…? The Big Society’s a great idea Cameron, and so is encouraging Social Enterprise…but please for goodness sake start putting more effort into supporting rural communities! We need your help just as much, if not more, as those young people in the cities!