Burnley businesses called upon to help the town’s young people

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Burnley businesses have been called upon to support young people hit hardest by the pandemic.

Burnley’s 16 to 24-year-olds have seen reduced training and job opportunities as well as redundancies in the past year because of Covid-19.

The Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub has been launched to help young people with training and job opportunities, including those not advertised or promoted elsewhere.

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Individuals will also receive personalised coaching support that focuses on mental and physical health, helping to build resilience.

Charlotte BraithwaiteCharlotte Braithwaite
Charlotte Braithwaite

Coun. Asif Raja, Executive Member for Economy and Growth at Burnley Borough Council, said: “Whilst the town of Burnley is resilient, and we can see that with the way the community has pulled together during this time, we also must understand the challenges that our young people in particular have faced during the past ten months.

“Statistically, it is 16–24-year-olds who face the higher volumes of redundancies, as well as reduced employment and training opportunities. That is why the Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub is essential and we are proud that our young people have this support.

“As well as encouraging young people to get in touch, we really do ask our local businesses to reach out and help protect that generation’s future. Whatever support you can provide could really change a young person’s life, no matter how big or small.

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"We look forward to working with our town’s businesses, who we know are incredibly supportive of training young people, especially via apprenticeships.”

There are three ways Burnley’s 16–24-year-olds can access the youth hub; emailing [email protected], ringing 01282 686402 or by asking a Job Centre Plus work coach to refer them to the hub.

Employers in the town can contact Samantha Smallridge, Burnley Council's employment and skills coordinator, at [email protected].

Whether it’s offering work experience, opening up a placement, or providing coaching and advice, all support is appreciated.

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The news comes at the start of National Apprenticeship Week, which this year is themed “Build the Future”.

One Burnley teenager who has already benefitted from an apprenticeship is Charlotte Braithwaite, who is an advanced business administration apprenticeship with THEMIS at Burnley College.

Charlotte (18) is in the final year of her apprenticeship at UK Restoration Services in Briercliffe.

Following her GCSEs, she wanted to gain practical skills and working at UK Restoration Services offered her that chance.

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From studying new projects and liaising with clients to completing essential documents and helping the office run smoothly, Charlotte is confident that her new knowledge and skills will set her up for her future.

The Burnley Together Youth Employment and Skills Hub's partners include Burnley Borough Council, Calico, Burnley College, UCLan, Burnley Football Club, the Department for Work and Pensions, The Prince’s Trust and Burnley Leisure.

Philip Jones, director of new services at Calico, said: "Calico is proud to help lead this initiative to ensure the young people in Burnley are given the best chance possible when it comes to skills and employment. This is a joined-up effort by all of the partners to support those young local people who are struggling.

"I really would encourage both businesses and young people to get involved and together, we can ensure we are in the best position possible to come through these difficult past few months and ensure a brighter future."

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