The pandemic has brought many challenges, in particular for young people as they deal with the uncertainties of its impact on their job prospects and career aspirations.
Now, two North-West NI based organisations have come together to deliver a week long calendar of events aimed at helping young people and indeed anyone whose career has been affected by the global pandemic in the North West of NI, the chance to learn about the skills and tools they will need and explore the opportunities that exist, within this new economy and landscape.
Co-organised by young people, Week Gen-C is a part-employability, part-career and part-entrepreneurship focused event that is being delivered in partnership by Enterprise NW and Startacus and with the support of organisations including NWRC and Young Enterprise NI.
Taking place virtually between 10th – 14th May 2021, Week Gen C will have 3 core elements:
Hack This! – A hackathon and ideation-focused virtual event that will aim to not only develop innovative new business ideas and employability skills, but to also provide an opportunity for local employers to identify and pipeline potential new employees for apprenticeships, placements and entry level roles within their organisations.
Learn This! – A series of virtual learning exercises, interactive workshops and panel discussions focused on a range of key areas including personal and soft-skills development, employability, career pathways, upskilling and entrepreneurship.
Work This! – A virtual careers fair focused on providing local NI employers with the opportunity to signpost their jobs, placements, training opportunities to those looking for work, a new career or the opportunity to re-train.
With the overall aim of the event being to promote opportunities and generate inspiration, the organisers are keen to involve young people wherever possible.
A steering committee will be created composed of local young people who will help to plan and coordinate the week-long event as well as being actively involved with the facilitation of the various workshops, panels and sessions.
Alastair Cameron, Co-founder of Startacus commented: “The last 12 months have been challenging for us all, but in particular for our young people. We felt that we had to do something proactive to help – this generation should not be prevented from flourishing or reaching their employable and creative potential because of the pandemic”.
Brian O’Neill, Director of Development and Enterprise, Enterprise NW, added: “For young people looking to get their first step on the career ladder, the outlook is particularly challenging, post-Covid. Many have had their education and training unavoidably disrupted at a point in their lives when they should be finding their feet, working out what to do next and thinking about their career direction”.
“However, we know that crucial to rebuilding the economy will be highly skilled, motivated young people. The young people we support today with advice, knowledge and skills, will be the workforce of tomorrow helping employers lead the charge towards recovery and economic growth for the prosperity of all. That’s why investing in young people now is crucial. Because when young people succeed, we all succeed”.
The Week Gen-C project is funded through the David Cross Young People’s Fund, a partnership between the Community Foundation, the Department for Communities and the David Cross Foundation.
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