Nine unemployed 17-22 year olds have completed the two-week Rugby Empowering Employment Programme (REEP) set up to inspire and boost the prospects of 16-24 year olds struggling to find work. The trainers used performance coaching techniques to build self-esteem, self-confidence, motivation, communication and presentation skills, along with team work, and setting and achieving action plans and goals.
Sandra Sampson, Director of Motiv-8sw who have been running the programme, said: “The turnaround in just two weeks has already shown how you can make a positive difference, building the confidence and motivation of young people who might have got stuck in a rut or experienced difficulties in the past. From being shy, unsure or not wanting to engage through to standing up and presenting to a room of business leaders, is fantastic.
Karime Hassan, Exeter City Council Chief Executive and Growth Director, was at the celebration event held at St Loyes Foundation in Exeter, on Friday 13th February. Karime said: “Well done to everyone who has completed the course. This is an important project and an example of how we can use the Rugby World Cup to inspire and do great things. Every individual matters and it’s wonderful to see the confidence and skills amongst the young people, and their desire to take the next positive step in their lives.” Representatives from local organisations and potential employers were also at the event.
Charlie Houlden, 22, from Cowick, said: “The course leaders have been great. They know how to motivate and really got everyone to open up. I want to get into IT and have managed to get an interview lined up. The course has been good for me already.”
Jemima Marshall, 19, from Exeter, said: “The course has been really amazing and beneficial to me. I have been unemployed for four months, and was disillusioned with my career and life, and felt pretty low. I want to go to university and study midwifery and now I know what I need to do, including taking some short courses in science before I apply. I’ve got to know everyone on the course and it’s been amazing to watch people change and their confidence grow.”
Each young person who has completed the programme, has been paired with a mentor to support them as they progress, by seeking job or training opportunities in the coming months.