30 young carers and 15 companies came together for the YAC Futures 2018 event at Skillzone sponsored by Midcounties Co-operative.
The event, hosted by Gloucestershire Young Carers was the second annual opportunity for young carers to spend time with representatives from a range of businesses including engineering, retail, teaching, cyber security, fitness, police, law and health and social care.
Companies attending this year’s event included: Midcounties Co-operative retail and travel, Spirax Sarco, Kohler EMEA, Invinsec, Gloucestershire Police, Thomson and Bancks, Proud to Care, RPT Studios and Cheltenham Borough Homes. Workshops were run by University of Gloucestershire, St James’s Place, Sarah Jane Griffiths and Prospect Training. And volunteers for the day included staff from Ermin Fosse in Cirencester.
Workshops in the morning were focused on building confidence and learning about apprenticeships, university education and day to day banking. The afternoon was then spent ‘speed networking’ where small groups of young adult carers worked their way around the Skillzone Village and had five minutes to interview each organisation on their work.
Young adult carers (aged 16 to 24) face a range of challenges in relation to educational, employment and social opportunities as a result of caring including difficulty in making the decision to stay at home with loved ones or follow their aspirations in education and careers.
Many may choose to stay in Gloucestershire and have a wealth of skills to offer local employers – life skills gained through their ‘adult-sized’ responsibilities in their families, caring skills and an approach to life that is often mature. The aim of YAC Futures is to bring employers and these amazing young people together so that young adult carers are aware of the diverse opportunities they have on their door step.
One young carer said: “I found the whole day really interesting. I’m thinking of going into Law and I learnt a lot from the presentation on university by the Uni of Glos. Also I learnt that you don’t necessarily need a degree to get into working in law, the chat with Thomson and Bancks solicitors was really helpful.”
Leah of Midcounties Co-operative Travel said: “It was a fantastic day. I just wish we could have had more time with the young people to chat with them about the challenges they feel they face going into work. They have so much to offer and many of them are already hard working and committed to succeeding.”
Tye Browne and Kris Tyreman, who have been young carers for most of their lives, volunteered at the event and supported the youth work and marketing team in managing the logistics and managing the social media. Tye got to work alongside the photographer covering the event Antony Thompson of Thousand Word Media.