Youth jobs charity calls on employers to help get inner-city teens into work

A charity that helps inner-city youths into jobs – reducing their chances of getting caught up in violent crime – is calling for employers’ help with its expansion plans.

Urbis ran a project in Manchester last month that saw boys from the notorious Moss Side district given training to get on the career ladder, including mock interviews at leading businesses.

It now wants to help kids in London, Birmingham and Liverpool – but needs funding and support from employers.

Creating opportunities for youngsters in deprived areas is widely seen as vital in tackling the knife and gun crime that has blighted UK cities this year.

The number of under-16s seeking treatment for stab wounds rose by 88% in five years to 179 in 2006-07, police revealed last week.

BBC film director Claire Hoang, who worked with youngsters on the Reclaim project in Manchester, said it made a big difference.

“Having been schooled in Longsight [near Moss Side], I experienced first-hand the barriers and issues that can affect these young men,” she said. “The reclaim project changes their lives, and I hope they will give back in the future and help to make change for others.”

Kirstin Sillitoe, community outreach officer at Urbis, told Personnel Today that employers would also benefit by working with inner-city youths through the charity.

She added: “Young people face problems whatever area they come from – whether it is gang and gun crime or suicide rates. It is a tough time but employers can make a difference.”

Urbis is looking to the government for money, but is also hoping local councils and private sector firms will see the benefits of its work to their communities.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who wants to work with us – not just for money but for collaboration,” said Sillitoe.

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