Empowering Enterprise: How we're supporting young people

Since 2017, Devon Communities Together, as evaluation and support partners for the Empowering Enterprise partnership, have been able to work alongside youth organisations across Devon as they have helped over 800, 18-24 year old's who faced a range of barriers to feeling a part of society. Barriers range from those who are autistic or neurodiverse, through to having limited qualifications, troubled pasts, struggling with severe anxiety, and more.


We have seen how much these individuals can achieve with the correct support, and we have created videos that celebrate their journeys with their mentors.

Ahmad is a Syrian refugee who overcame the many barriers of moving to Plymouth, learning a new language, and finding a job.

Click the video below to watch Ahmad's story.

Rory is a young non-binary participant with a challenging history of eating disorders and problems with addiction, who has achieved great success in finding a role as an apprentice chef.

Click the video below to watch Rory's story.

Through creating these videos and talking directly with mentors and young people we have found out the areas of support most impactful for them as they look to enter employment or education. Devon Communities Together are determined to take these conversations forward and promote a message of inclusivity to employers across Devon. Since 2018 we have been sharing resources and key messages at business breakfasts, through media releases and in 1-2-1 conversations with employers, we have even trained mentors on how to best approach businesses and secure work experience placements.

In 2022 our focus is on running rolling support sessions available monthly to all employers in Devon, encouraging them to shift their perceptions and celebrate what young people can achieve with the right support. This training builds empathy and showcases the practical tips needed to make more inclusive work environments, such as having interviews and job adverts which focus on the skills and experience gained beyond work and school, and highlighting the importance of an unintimidating first few days entering a new team.

Our training sessions will be hosted at the end of each month. To find out more, contact Harry.Bonnell@Devoncommunities.org.uk.

In the meantime have a look at resources created by ourselves and the partnership on: 

Inclusive employment and the Access to Work scheme

A guide to using more inclusive Language

A guide to working with Autistic Individuals

A guide to LGBTQ+ Language

Talking to someone with limited English

Empowering enterprise logos