Youth Unemployment

Young Solutions is committed to challenging the damaging effect that unemployment has on young people, especially those with additional needs or from complex backgrounds.

Over the past 8 years we have developed and delivered a range of projects working with unemployed young people.

Our pilot Shaping Up for Work Project, funded by the European Social Fund, recruited unemployed young people aged 18+ and delivered regular lifestyle sessions on topics such as fitness and diet, whilst providing employment advice. It aimed to build their resilience, self-confidence and self-esteem so as to assist them in finding employment and upon completion of the project, the majority of participants moved into volunteering, training or employment programmes.

We used our knowledge, expertise and network of partners to design and set up a major countrywide Talent Match Programme, funded by the Big Lottery. This national initiative targets young people who are furthest from the jobs market and assists them into work or self-employment.

Young Solutions formed and managed three working groups: two cross-sector groups from organisations such as Worcestershire County Council, Department of Work and Pensions, Chamber of Commerce, YMCA and local hostels and housing providers, and one of young unemployed people. The programme design, information, structure and activity provider were all developed by the working groups, with final sign-off by the young people.

Our unemployment work continued with vInspire Talent, funded by the UK’s leading youth volunteering charity, vInspired. This two-year project enabled 32 unemployed young people aged 16 – 25 to undertake 24 weeks of work placement, training and complete a social action project, with the aim of increasing opportunities to obtain work.

Many of the young people came from difficult backgrounds, had been in care, were homeless, or came from homes with abuse or drug problems, and this gave the project extra challenges. Most of the young people succeeded in gaining models of a Level 2 qualification, and just over half went into employment, education or training, which was a major achievement. One young person was so motivated by the project that he has set up his own business and another is now at university.

Recipe for Success, funded by the European Social Fund, sprung from vInspire Talent as we realised how poor many of the young people’s diets were and how this was affecting them physically and mentally and holding them back. 10 unemployed young people aged 18 – 24 spent 26 weeks learning how to prepare and cook nutritious meals on a budget.

The participants also received fortnightly one-to-one sessions with project staff to assist them with their job search and help them into work experience. 50% of the young people have progressed onto further projects or employment.

See photographs from Recipe for Success here.

Shape Up For Work was a Big Lottery funded project which built the confidence and fitness of young unemployed people, with the aim that being fitter would make young people feel better about themselves. This contribution to their self-assurance and self-esteem would in turn improve their prospects for gaining employment.


One young person was so motivated by the Recipe for Success project that he has set up his own business.

Keeping young people
safe and involved

in Worcestershire

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