It’s Volunteer’s Week – starting this week, we’ll be sharing blogs about volunteering stories in a series called ‘Volunteering Insight’. The aim is to share with the world what it’s like volunteering at organisations as a young person.
The first in this series is about Youth Employment UK, and what it’s like being a volunteer ambassador for this fantastic organisation, from myself, Patrick Cantellow.
Youth Employment UK (YEUK) was set up to support all of those working in the youth employment sector, including young people. They’ve got a name for themselves amongst Parliament to SME’s to large corporations, for delivering impactful work with young people at the centre.
In Year 11, I found myself often complaining about the education system and careers education. Me being me, and my passion for making a change, I decided to do something about it.
I found out about the roles at Youth Employment UK via Twitter. It looked like a great platform to showcase my opinion, as well as a chance to network with young adults in apprenticeships and universities.
My first event with Youth Employment UK was the Youth Friendly Employer Conference 2015 in London. It gave me a great understanding in the employment sector, and how schemes such as Apprentices work. Although I didn’t know any of the team and other Ambassadors, we clicked well, and before I knew it, I was roped into delivering a session about reaching out to young people.
The event and knowledge I gained opened my eyes about other potential routes other than the “social norm” of a university. So much so, that it played a huge part in my pursuing an apprenticeship in marketing a year later.
Youth Employment UK is the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Youth Employment. Meaning once a month, Youth Employment UK, it’s partners, ministers, civil servants and of course young people, have a chance to speak in the place that makes the decisions. I find these are great meetings to go along to, and they are open to the public, so I thoroughly recommend you come along.
What is worth mentioning is how Laura-Jane Rawlings, the Founder & CEO of Youth Employment UK, actively says no to speaking opportunities and offers it to her ambassadors instead. I’ve been luckily enough to speak at conferences and join them on a trip to Poland to talk at the European Congress all because of LJ and her team’s down to earth ethos.
Youth Employment UK also provides training for their ambassadors to learn more about the youth employment sector, and are currently working on a plan to get us ambassadors working in our local communities.
Overall, volunteering with Youth Employment UK has, and will continue to be, an outstanding experience that I highly recommend others to get involved in.