Career Connect

Career Connect Adviser Amnah Vicars has been named as a finalist in the Third Sector Awards for her inspiring and life-changing work with young people in Merseyside over the last 20 years.

Amnah is shortlisted in the Unsung Hero category of the national awards, which celebrate the outstanding achievements and impact of individuals and organisations operating in the third sector.

At the heart of the awards lies “a profound belief in the power of collective action and the immense value that the third sector brings to communities”.
Amnah’s career exemplifies the power of collaboration for the best outcomes for young people.

Promoting collaboration and community

Using her skills in negotiation and networking, Amnah has built links between business, partners, and the community, to create innovative programmes that connect young people from some of the most disadvantage wards in Liverpool to opportunities they would not otherwise have had.

Amnah’s achievements include her work on the Vision 8 Youth Project, where she worked to improve access to provision for BAME young people not in education, employment or training. Amnah used her skills to develop valuable community links, enabling Career Connect to provide equality of opportunity and support more than 700 young people during the 4-year delivery period.

Amnah has played a pivotal role in developing Career Connect’s services at Crawford House in Toxteth. Through her work, Career Connect now has a permanent community outreach base there, and hundreds of young people have attended in the past 10 years. Her work has included managing and delivering successful community jobs and training fairs, including Careers Fest, which was attended by over 100 young people last year.

The LIverpool team at Careers Fest 2023. Five team members (four women, one man) look into the camera smiling, stodd behind a table. The purple banner behind them has the text: Find Your Future and a picture of a young person.

Careers Fest 2023 at Crawford House.

Amnah also developed an early intervention course aimed at supporting Year 11 young people with gaining their English and maths GCSEs, helping secure £10,000 for a free community tuition project for young people who were severely disadvantaged by COVID. Amnah and the Liverpool team delivered accredited employability courses, work placements, and 1:1 intensive sessions to over 400 young people over a two-year period.

Encouraging participation

Amnah has also supported vulnerable young people (including those with mental health issues and involved with the Youth Offending Services) to remove barriers and progress into education, employment or training.

She attended focus groups to support the development of Liverpool’s first Race Equality Hub and advised on the support, training and employment needs of BAME young people, helping to shape how services are delivered. Amnah also built partnerships with Blackburne House to run construction courses for young people with guaranteed apprenticeship interviews, and create young women’s personal development and confidence building courses and community ESOL courses. Amnah also helped develop a pre-uniformed course for under-represented young people, helping them to apply for roles including in the fire service.

Sharing experience with others

Amnah began her career with Liverpool City Council in 1990, working in various departments including housing and social services. Amnah shared her career journey to mark International Women’s Day in March this year.

Amnah’s shortlisting at the Third Sector awards follows on from that of St Helens team Leader Ste Benson in the same category at last year’s awards.

Amnah said of her shortlisting: “It is truly an honour to be shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award. Working with young people has always been my passion, and I see myself as privileged. And, seeing their growth and achievements is the greatest reward.

“This shortlisting is a testament to the collective efforts of my team and the work of Career Connect, who have always put young people first. I would like to thank Career Connect managers for encouraging me to be creative in my role, as this has allowed me to develop partnerships and projects that have enabled young people to overcome barriers and develop skills for their chosen careers. It’s an honour to work for a company that cares so much for young people.”

Career Connect CEO Sheila Clark said: “Amnah is an inspirational Adviser who works tirelessly on behalf of the young people we serve. She is passionate about her role and all who work with her are touched by her commitment and unwavering determination. She plays a crucial role in the community at all levels and truly makes a tangible positive difference to the lives of the young people she works with. I would like to thank Amnah on behalf of us all and for choosing to work as part of the Career Connect team.”

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