Building brighter futures – Jada’s apprenticeship story

Meet Jada Eduvie, 20, Programme Coordinator and the latest addition to team UK Youth!

Jada joins us from Octavia, homes, care and support provider, where she worked as a Creative Youth Work Assistant, through a 12-month apprenticeship scheme. The scheme opened new doors and prepared her for a career in youth work. Over the course of her placement, she has enjoyed being able to hone her skills in a dynamic environment and make a positive difference in young people’s lives.

“My experience to date has given the skills I need to take the next step in my youth work journey. I have received a lot of personal and professional development support including training and coaching from my manager and colleagues. Throughout my apprenticeship, I have felt appreciated in my role and my work has been recognised as contributing something valuable to the bigger picture.”

Working closely with Octavia’s Youth Programme Manager, Jada delivered creative activities through their free digital youth club, Base@Reed. With sessions taking place four times a week, Base@Reed provides young people with a space to feel safe, valued, included and inspired.

“Over the last year, I’ve developed positive working relationships with the young people and have enjoyed seeing them grow in confidence each week. Working within the youth programme team has exposed me to a range of different tasks, including leading on sessions, coordinating volunteers, managing a social media account and delivering presentations. I’ve also been given the opportunity to improve on my digital media skills – designing programme schedules using Adobe Illustrator and social media graphics using Canva.”

Latest government statistics show that 581,000 16- to 24-year-olds were unemployed between June and August this year – an increase of 35,000 from the previous quarter. Youth work apprenticeships are providing a solution to this growing problem. Lasting a minimum of 12 months, they give young people the chance to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a nationally recognised qualification and real experience of working in the field.

When the crisis brought face-to-face services to a halt, Jada wasted no time in finding alternative entertainment for their young people – setting up a programme of online activities to help them stay connected and stimulated whilst at home. Jada has played a crucial role in the delivery of this programme, designing virtual activities that range from comic book creation to game design tutorials. Relishing the responsibility and rising to the occasion, she has felt a good balance between being supported, whilst also being given responsibility and room to grow.

“Working during the pandemic has been an interesting and unique experience. I learnt to embrace change, troubleshoot and adapt to an evolving situation. This boosted my confidence, pushed me out of comfort zone and developed my leadership skills. I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute to strategy planning- helping my colleagues to come up with innovative ideas and find ways to engage our young people online.”

“In my new role as Programmes Coordinator for UK Youth, I will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of large-scale programmes that support young people to develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need to thrive. I feel well equipped and confident going into this role as I will have experienced completing  many of the tasks it will cover – programme design and administration, database management, and bid writing.”

The transferable skills of youth work and working matter now more than ever, especially as young people with complex needs and those from less privileged backgrounds are being hardest hit by rising inequality and cuts to local services. For example, young people are more likely to be a victim of violent crime, twice as likely to have lost employment as a result of Coronavirus, and one in eight people under 19 suffer from a mental health disorder. A joined-up, connected and cross sector approach to supporting young people is one way to ensure the power of youth work is not seen as anything less than essential building better lives for young people.

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