A group of young women leaving care in Manchester are swapping the city streets next week for the wilds of Wales. The move marks the start of a six-month traineeship aimed at better equipping them for the world of work.
The week-long outward-bound course is the first stage of the bespoke traineeship. It will take the women through a wide programme of activities and work experience over the coming six months.
The traineeship is a collaboration between the council and national charity WeMindTheGap.
Taking part in it are women aged between 18 and 22 years. They have all been specially chosen to take part in the traineeship, for which they are paid.
After completing their outward-bound challenge, the group will return to the city for a ‘getting ready for work’ week. Here they will learn the do’s and don’ts of the workplace including punctuality, values, and work behaviours, before starting their first work placement.
They will undertake five different work experience placements during the six months in a variety of different employment sectors. They will also receive expert help and advice on job searching, writing CVs, and interview techniques.
Alongside their work placements, the young women will be given life coaching, mentoring, and additional support to help them understand everyday issues that will be important to their future success such as budgeting, women’s health, and nutrition.
They will also be given the chance to try a wide range of new experiences they might not have had the opportunity to try before. These include visits to local places of interest, meetings with local dignitaries, learning new cooking skills, trying out new crafts, film-making, taking part in sports.
Support for the group doesn’t end after six months. Once their paid traineeship comes to an end, the group will receive further support and mentoring for another six months. This is to provide continuity and help with next steps in finding and keeping a job.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “It’s clear from the track record of this approach in other places that it’s going to make a real difference to the young women taking part and will go a long way towards helping them achieve their full potential.”