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Career Connect

Career Connect's St Helens team has reduced the number of NEET 16-17 year-olds to the lowest ever levels recorded in the town, despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK employment levels.


At the end of December 2020 just 127 young people were recorded as NEET (i.e. Not in Education, Employment or Training), more than a third down from the 193 at the end of 2019 and a significant achievement given the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK unemployment levels.

Working with local agencies, Career Connect has developed effective relationships with St Helens young people, parents and carers.  Using elements of the Pause Model (recognising clients as individuals rather than defining them by the issues they face) the team is helping local young people identify the barriers they face and ways to overcome them, allowing them to build personal resilience and to make their career plans a reality.

The dedicated team of Career Connect coaches in St Helens offers one-to-one support and group activities for local NEET young people, helping them to develop their job search skills such as writing CVs and job applications and to prepare for interviews. This has helped increase young peoples’ awareness of career opportunities and to make informed vocational choices.

The team also offers impartial advice and guidance on careers and higher education opportunities, using local labour market intelligence.  This helps their young client base to gain a better understanding of the local jobs market, the skills needed to enter different careers and the institutions that can provide training in those skills.

Ste Bedson, Team leader of Career Connect in St Helens said: “These amazing results show that our personalised approach makes a real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people in St Helens. The number of NEET has reduced by one third which is a significant achievement given that the global pandemic has dramatically reduced the number of employment opportunities for everyone but particularly young people. By working with education and training providers, Youth Justice, Post-16 Preparing for Adulthood Team, the Family Nurse Partnership and Ways to Work, we are reaching NEET young people across the borough.  Together we are helping them to create a better future for themselves and their families.”

To find out more about Career Connect in St Helens, contact Stephen Bedson on 07980 601165 or email stephen.bedson@careerconnect.org.uk.

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