Devon Communities Together (DCT) is part of a partnership, headed by Petroc College, to deliver a Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund Building Better Opportunities project working with 18-24-year-olds who are struggling to engage with training and employment opportunities.

Over the past month, we have been meeting individually with Partners in the Empowering Enterprise project, to introduce ourselves and get to know them a bit better. We have been sharing with them our plans for measuring the social impact of the project and hearing about their experiences of community and employer engagement with young people aged 18 – 24 yrs old.

Their collective experience has helped inform the way in which the project’s community and employer engagement will proceed. Our aim is to explore developing a platform where partners can share the employer contacts they already have and to which we can add new contacts. This list will help direct young people to the types of work experience or mentoring which truly suits their needs and interests, whilst also ensuring that the same few employers are not bombarded with the entire projects cohort of young people asking for placements. In order to draw employers into the project, we have been visiting HR events, networking with Devon-based employers and telling them about the project and inviting them on board.

The community engagement part of the project aims to develop young people’s awareness of their local community, how it runs and how they can contribute to it. At the moment the plan will be to get a cohort of young people together, when they are ready so that they can plan a project identified and led by them in their community. We will then help them to make it a reality through facilitating conversations with local councils, organisations and community leaders.

This project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of Building Better Opportunities