A new youth employment scheme is coming to Pontypridd this week.
Pop Up Talent is a £2 million Big Lottery funded project taking on an innovative stance on youth employment. The scheme, which featured in an episode of Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millions’ last year will be running in various locations across south Wales including Llanelli, Swansea, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Cardiff.
Youth unemployment in Wales remains a growing problem. According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, the number of unemployed people over 16 in Wales rose by 1,000 between April and June 2013 to 122,000.
Gwalia, a not-for-profit housing, care and support are leading the south Wales Pop Up Talent initiative, promoting new ways of enabling youth employment, training and enterprise. The pilot scheme which has already been launched in London and Birmingham will be available in south Wales in three rounds which will run throughout the year, in March, July and November.
The Pop Up Talent shops are driven by young people for young people and will engage with both local and national employers, providing a hands on, interactive approach to a variety of careers. The Pop Up Talent shop will be hitting Rhondda Cynon Taf on Saturday 22nd March at the YMCA in Pontypridd with employers such as Street Football Wales, The Army and Changemakers demonstrating skills and an insight to encourage employment within the sector.
Jordan, 18, who lives in Cilfynydd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, has struggled to find employment and has been unemployed since leaving school. Jordan has been looking for work for over a year but has been unable to find anything and is frustrated at the lack of employment opportunities in the local area.
Speaking about Pop Up Talent he said, “I’m really looking forward to the Pop Up Talent shop coming to the YMCA in Pontypridd. I think it’s a really good project to get involved in to gain experience. I have been unemployed since leaving school and so many young people I know are in the same position.
It will be great to have the opportunity to learn new skills and build up experience and an understanding of the workplace. There are plenty of young people in Rhondda who are eager to get involved in work and enterprise but we just don’t know what opportunities are out there and what industries we can get involved in.”
Gwalia’s Director of Support, Andrew Vye, says: “Pop Up Talent is an exciting initiative, providing young people with up-to-date knowledge and skills to successfully get into work and enterprise. Gwalia are always striving to be forward thinking and innovative in our approach to services, and are excited to lead the Foyer Federation campaign in south Wales. We look forward to supporting young people throughout Wales to reach their potential and access work opportunities”.
Pop Up Talent will be rolled out in south Wales in Spring 2014, and will be heading to Pontypridd at YMCA on Saturday 22nd March from 11am-3pm.
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