Collaboration aims to boost employment opportunities for young people

Following a successful pilot programme that saw North Lindsey College account for 9% of YHA (England & Wales) total youth volunteering programme in 2018/19, an official partnership has been agreed which will help get even more young people work-ready.

As part of the partnership, North Lindsey College will encourage its students to now undertake a minimum of 30 hours of work experience at the youth charity’s network of youth hostels.

During the pilot last year, 90 of the College’s students gained 1000 hours of invaluable industry work experience at eight youth hostels in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire.

During the pilot, students took part in a number of projects at the youth hostels, including painting and decorating, kitchen, gardening and housekeeping duties, weeding, litter picking, fixing Roman shields and goat sheds, building bug houses and food service.

Marking the official partnership, a Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU) was recently signed by James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England & Wales) and by Anne Tyrrell, Chief Executive Officer at DN Colleges Group on behalf of North Lindsey College.

The MOU formalised a year of best practice and also laid out further plans to increase the amount of East Lindsey College students to take up the volunteering opportunity, include residential group volunteering and individual student helping run youth hostels.

James Blake commented:

“Working with North Lindsey College has allowed us to pilot new ways to develop and grow youth volunteering and it has been hugely successful. As a charity, we rely on volunteers to enable our network of youth hostels to operate financially sustainably and continue to provide affordable stays in our fantastic accommodation for young people and their families. Importantly, our volunteering programme is also a brilliant opportunity to help young people gain meaningful work experience and training that will help them have access to many more opportunities.

“We feel passionate about being part of the vision for civil society so I am delighted that through this partnership, North Lindsey College students can build ambition, have a more positive outlook and show their true talent.”

Hasina Kamali, Work Placement Team Leader at North Lindsey College, said:

“Over the last couple of years, North Lindsey College has built a fantastic relationship with YHA in which we have been working with eight hostels in total, supporting with building and grounds work.

“Our students have gained some extensive skills which have helped with project skills, team building and their self-confidence. Last year over 90 students from various curriculum areas visited the different hostels, bringing a unique industry experience to add to their CVs.

“This new partnership will now bring new and existing opportunities for our students to further develop their skills to support the leading charity.”

YHA celebrates its 90th anniversary next year. The partnership with North Lindsey College is one of a number YHA is developing ahead of the launch of its new 10-year strategy in 2020. The strategy will see the youth charity work with a range of partners to support YHA’s shared goal to improve health, bring communities together, promote diversity and inclusion and improve the life-chances of those at a disadvantage.