November 2020

BUSINESS LEADERS SOUGHT TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK

The Platform Project seeks business mentors. BUSINESS owners and business leaders are being sought to join a mentoring scheme. The scheme is set to support young people with employability and enterprise skills. 

Sadie Sharp, founder of The Platform Project launches the scheme at a time when job prospects for young people are shrinking.

Seeking to give support

The social enterprise seeks to support those who have not thrived. Young people who are, for whatever reason, unemployed or are at risk of becoming unemployed or without education or training. The need is greater now than ever with COVID-19 fast increasing the rates of youth unemployment. 

Sadie said: “We’re able to keep supporting young people in Swindon during lockdown. Albeit in smaller groups, because the needs of those we support are so significant.

We have more and more young people in the town needing help to transition to the next phase of their lives. They may not have done well at school, they may have had family issues which affected their development. Or they may have personal challenges which makes them less able to move into work and thrive in life.”

The company runs many small-scale youth led businesses, including the youth magazine #iDare. There’s also a digital media marketing agency and a printed goods business. There the young adults do everything usual in business including:

1. Managing social media
2. Liaising with customers
3. Making decisions and managing project finances.

“We know, from the young people we’ve already worked with, that a little bit of supported hands on experience in a ‘real’ training workplace can act as a rapid transition into the world of work. And that presents them with new with life options.

They come in to ‘work’ in our youth led businesses, and they leave us with a much increased skill set and confidence level. Many of them go on to get jobs or even start their own freelance business activities.”

The new scheme

This new scheme will pair the young people, aged between 16 and 21, with mentor who will support them and guide them. That might be to try and secure work in their chosen field or to secure more CV building opportunities like work experience. It might even be starting their own business and earn money from their hobbies and interests. 

Sadie said: “Many young people come here feeling quite aimless. They often have no career path in mind and have no idea how to find their feet in the world. And trying to change that on your own is a daunting task at the best of times, let alone in times of a national pandemic, when the competition for any opportunity has increased tenfold.

Pairing up with an established professional who has overcome challenges and developed their own career / business can transform their confidence. It can also help them to build up their own network of contacts so that they can transition into their working lives.”

Platform Project seeks Business Mentors - sadie sharp of the platform project
Sadie Sharp taken on June 8th 2020 by Barbara Leatham Photography in Swindon, Wiltshire. Speaker and publisher, she’s a transformational entrepreneur working with businesses and individuals

What’s required – Platform Project seeks Business Mentors

Sadie and her team are looking for a range of volunteer mentors who have experience across all sectors and roles, including those who may have: 

*Built and run their own business – in particular from a challenging background.
*Had a successful career and overcome challenges to achieve their goals.
*Followed a career path to a high level of achievement and wants to support a young person find their feet in the world of work. 
*Retired or semi-retired from a successful career, profession or trade who wants to support someone at the beginning of their working life. 
*Someone who took a hobby or a passion and turned it into a side-line business – as many young people struggle to get full time work now. 

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, you can submit an application (see below). And, after an interview and full training the scheme will pair you with a young person where the mentoring project team see a natural synergy. 

Then the mentor would be working with the young person for a couple of hours each week one to one. Each pairing is for six months and includes regular supervision to ensure the mentors get support.


The Platform Project

The Platform Project, celebrated its third birthday this year.

Since starting as a volunteer led organisation in 2017, TPP has tripled in size each year. It’s now scaling up ready to support hundreds of young people each year transition into work and enterprise.

To volunteer as a mentor email info@platformproject.co.uk or visit www.platformproject.co.uk for more information about the organisation.