SWINDON SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PROJECT OFFERS A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

A Brighter Future for Young People
Two teenagers from Swindon are celebrating their dream jobs offer. All thanks to The Platform Project’s internship scheme.

Charlotte Hinds (18) is now working in the hospitality sector for PGL in South Cerney. And Daniella Page, also 18, is working at First City Nursing Services in Swindon.

The Platform Project

The Platform Project, based in the Dorcan area of Swindon, is a social enterprise that helps young people aged 17-24 find employment. It does so by helping them develop skills such as IT, administration, marketing, sales and videography in a youth led ‘training workplace’.

The interns work on many industry standard projects. These projects span such experiences such as online publishing, project management and self-employment. It all helps them build up their CV with meaningful experiences and figure out what they want from their early-stage careers. The design of the work experience internships accelerates a young person’s progression into their next steps after finishing education. They’ve supported over 100 young people this past year alone.

A Brighter Future for Young People - Charlotte and Daniella
Charlotte and Daniella

From College drop-out to employment for Charlotte

After dropping out of college, Charlotte, who lives in South Cerney, didn’t know what she wanted to do. She knew that college was not for her and that she didn’t want to be stuck in a dead-end job. But she was getting no response from her applications for dozens of jobs. Then she saw details of The Platform Project on social media and signed up to join their internship scheme.

My very first project with The Platform Project was helping to make a video on anger management and taking photos behind the scenes to make a trailer clip,” said Charlotte. ‘It was so much fun! But I also learned how to take a client brief, plan a project, and work in a team.’

Soon afterwards, Charlotte got involved in projects planning two charitable events. She also continued to develop her photography skills behind the scenes at exhibitions and participated in a fashion shoot.

‘When I first joined The Platform Project, I had no self-confidence. I didn’t believe in myself at all. I was very shy and didn’t talk to people,’ explained Charlotte. ‘Now I will go up to people and talk to them. The internship has helped me with my communication skills and people skills. I have so much more confidence in myself. This enables me to apply for a job, talk to people on the phone and write formal letters to companies.’

When she went for an interview for her current role, they asked her what she’d done at The Platform Project and what projects she’d worked on.

‘It was great to be able to put my experience at The Platform Project on my CV. My new employer said it showed I was hard working and had a wide range of experience and skills for someone my age. I’m so excited at getting this job in the hospitality sector. It’s exactly what I wanted and I am now starting a new chapter in my life and am confident about my future.’

Daniella’s experience

Daniella, who lives in Dorcan, Swindon, joined the internship scheme in March. And now, after four months there, she’s secured herself a job with First City Nursing Services.

‘The scheme has supported me gaining confidence, learning new skills and enhancing my talents,’ said Daniella. ‘Getting a job in care has always been a dream of mine. But I never believed in the past that it would become a reality because of my low confidence.’

During her four months with The Platform Project, Daniella focused her creative writing passion to produce content for the projects youth led blog #iDare. She also worked with an employability mentor to help her develop such work readiness skills as timekeeping, interviewing and organisation skills.

Daniella said: ‘If you’d like to feel welcomed into and involved in a professional team and find new and exciting opportunities for the future, The Platform Project is the place for you.’

The founder of the Platform Project

Sadie Sharp, founder of The Platform Project, said: ‘I’m super proud of these two. They embraced their time with us and all the experiences on offer. It’s so difficult for young people to get into work without any work experience. And it’s a difficult cycle to break. In particular when the number of people applying for entry level jobs is so high as a result of the pandemic.

We’ve honed our internship programme to give young people a real, practical and hands on work experience. One that loads their CV with experiences that help them stand out to employers and secure entry level jobs with a professional level of skills. We’re fortunate to have secured an enormous amount of funding to increase the places we can now offer to young people in and around Swindon.

The Platform Project are now interviewing young people to fill their internship placements starting from September.

If you know someone who might benefit, please email internships@platformproject.co.uk