United Utilities supports local young people into work

Supporting young people into work at UU

Twelve young people graduated with flying colours from United Utilities’ youth programme on Friday 12 October 2018.

Among the group who completed the six-week programme were young people from Warrington, Heywood and Ashton-in-Makerfield.

Nathan Higgins, from Warrington, applied to the youth programme to help him get into work and find a career he could enjoy. He said: “I can’t find the words to express how great I think this programme is. I was someone who wasn’t sure what to do but this has been incredibly helpful to me. It’s a programme that helps put you back on your feet.”

Nick Howel, also from Warrington, joined the programme after it was recommended to him by his job centre advisor. He said: “It’s been very useful for me. I already feel much more confident in my skills and in the workplace and am more comfortable around new people than I used to be. I’ve also made some new friends.”

The programme gives local young people the skills and experience to become work-ready by helping them develop a routine, navigate public transport, motivate themselves to go to work and have the confidence to learn new skills. It also helps them develop a social life outside of work, as young people who’ve left education and haven’t gone into work often suffer from loneliness.

United Utilities’ social impact manager, Lynn Johnson, said: “For those who take part in our programme there are many complex barriers to developing work-ready behaviours and routines, and therefore finding employment. Our programme has evolved to address these barriers, supporting young people to transform their own lives,” she added.

As well as work experience, the programme provides training in life skills such as money management and first aid.

Lynn adds: “We develop a secure environment, encouraging participants in the programme to share their hopes and fears. There’s no doubt that the transition into work can be challenging and young people need time to engage with practices in the workplace and feel safe to make mistakes.”

The company is currently running its ninth intake and has seen exceptional completion rates. Many of this year’s intake are now progressing into paid employment.