Futures Club - The pilot in Plymouth

United Futures piloted this new way of bringing businesses and youth services together to support young people in Plymouth. This activity, known as Futures Club, launched in April 2012 enabled employers to develop sustainable partnerships with youth sector organisations.

Through the use of a broker, five South West businesses have been matched to local youth projects in need of support.

“Business expertise and insight can offer youth organisations much needed opportunities to engage with the world of work. It’s early days but with so much activity planned, I’m optimistic that this support will make a lasting difference.” Jason Sculthorpe, Community impact Programmes Manager, Business in the Community, Plymouth.

UK Youth member Young Devon has been matched with the Royal Mail. The organisations have implemented a scheme whereby young people can gain paid work experience if they follow an agreed training programme. In fact, two young people have been so successful that they've been taken on as paid temporary workers during the Christmas period.

"My time at Royal Mail has been a good experience. I've learnt many different things while also getting back into a working routine. My first time keying live mail was daunting but after a couple of minutes it started to feel like second nature. I now look forward to coming into work and continuing what I have learnt." Lee Anderson

In addition, the YMCA has been partnered with Cornish bakery Ginsters, who, to date, have held career advice workshops and a behind-the-scenes visit to their Callington factory for 30 young people. 2013 activities include setting up an interview skills programmes and sponsorship of the YMCA's events. Mark Duddridge, Managing Director of Ginsters comments, “This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to the lives, skills and ambitions of local young people.”

Building company Kier has set up a 'Career Choices' programme for unemployed young men at the youth club they have been paired with. The Zone offers information, support and advice to local youngsters. The two organisations are developing plans to offer a community-based 'work inspiration' programme in 2013 for young offenders who are interested in exploring careers in construction.

Public service provider Amey is working with charity Routeways. 30 Amey staff have become business mentors at the club, which includes giving presentations about their different job roles. This follows extensive staff volunteering on the 'Diggin It' project, which involved landscaping two community gardening sites so that they can be enjoyed by local young people. Victoria Hutchins, Amey’s Watchman-in-Chief in Plymouth comments: “I am thrilled at how positive our partnership with Routeways has been to date. This is about investing in the Plymouth communities we work in to make a real difference. It’s also about investing in our staff, who are enjoying the many and varied ways they can get involved.”

Lastly energy suppliers Independent Utilities are supporting the Stonehouse Play Association.

For more information about Futures Club contact Michelle Dickinson