15 years ago we started CCYP with £65,000 and a lot of hard work! Disadvantaged young people in Torfaen were leaving the supportive school environment with little encouragement or opportunities to achieve their potential. At this time CCYP was open for 46 hours a week, supporting 25-30 young people; and today we open for 86 hours per week, with 35 staff supporting over 400 young people a week.
We saw private sector training agencies delivering traditional curriculums in a classroom environment, at times and locations that were often unsuitable for young people. At first we took placements from these agencies but quickly decided it was not effective. Instead we took a fresh approach and trained our youth work staff in the skills and qualifications to simultaneously support and train young people, which we are paid by other agencies to deliver.
We set out to make our business model sustainable, securing a mixed income base from WEFO, Big-Lottery, WCVA, Arts Council for Wales and Lloyds Bank Foundation.
Through Big Lottery and European funding we established a trading arm ‘Randomz’, which trains young people by doing real work in e.g. design and printing, a Street Food Academy, a recycling and upcycling project, Vulture Designs, Torfonix Music Academy and Multi Sport Academy.
Despite the red tape and bureaucracy, European Funding has enabled CCYP to grow rapidly, including the creation of a purpose built training suite. Through the Objective One Programme 2000-2006 we ran a very successful multi-agency project called SAVY (Skills Apprenticeships for Vulnerable Young People), which delivered holistic support in one location. During the 2007-2013 programmes, we won grants from WCVA, Arts Council for Wales, and the Local Authority ‘Prevent’ project, and secured a Community and Economic Development Grant for Voluntary Sector Organisations.
**Today we are registered with City and Guilds, ABC training and the Welsh Government to deliver accredited work related skills and qualifications through Jobs Growth Wales, Young Recruits, Apprenticeships and Essential Skills, which have credibility and currency in the workplace. We engage hundreds of young people, helping them to achieve their own goals by selecting a path from the range of programmes we deliver that is right for them – be it an Engagement Gateway contract, Jobs Growth Wales placement or an Apprenticeship which enables us to provide training and support for young people at all levels of the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework.
The success of our approach was recently acknowledged at a European Commission conference on Youth Engagement and Unemployment in Malta, and our staff have been recognised in the Welsh Government Youth Worker Excellence Awards.
We have much to celebrate but even more work to do! The length of time some people need to even contemplate training or work often exceeds the duration of a project, resulting in disjointed training and the young people left without support. It is therefore vital that the third sector responds positively to the range of EU funding options in 2014-2020 to create suitable pathways to employment for our next generation.
**Please find the logo’s for these to add to the website
Please also look at this URL for another two pictures, include the writing above (Heading) below if possible on both;