Sidcup Rotary Club

District 1120   RI Club No 19449

Founded 1935

The Club’s Youth Unemployment Project

In 2012 our Vocational and Youth Opportunities Committee decided that the best opportunity we could give to the youth of our club area would be to improve the prospects of those unemployed in getting a job.

We met with our local Job Centre Plus in Bexleyheath to explore areas where we could directly help and were welcomed with open arms, something that has since turned into a fruitful relationship with the club.

The initial meeting with JCP rapidly translated into weekly sessions with small groups of young unemployed in the 18-24 age group, mostly unemployed for more than 13 weeks. The numbers of jobseekers attending these sessions are 8-15 with a team of three from our side, sessions lasting around two hours.

These young people are recommended by JCP to attend - there is no element of compulsion. Backgrounds are from the whole range you might expect from those who underachieved at school to those with good degrees. Their common bond is being unemployed.

Meetings are held at the Job Centre and are without any constraints from JCP whose views do not necessarily coincide with our own!

Our main credentials and where we differ from schools, JCP and the various recruitment agencies, is that all of our 12 strong group of volunteers are either ex employers or have been responsible for groups of employees so 'we know' and are believed when we say what employers are looking for.

Our target is to send these young people out better prepared, with a greater understanding and more enthusiasm than when they arrived - better equipped to get themselves a job.

One thing we cannot do is create jobs, but we can improve the prospects of these young jobseekers of getting one through guidance on focus and flexibility, understanding how employers think and what they are looking for, creating CVs that will work and improve their chances of getting interviews, the usefulness of work experience and voluntary work, interview guidance and tips etc.

These aspects are taken care of during an approximately 1 hour group session which is then followed by one-to-one prime time with each of them, going through their CVs individually and giving individual guidance and direction.

JCP have been very enthusiastic throughout and are pleased with the effect we have and the results we get. They frequently send their advisers and work experience people to sit in with us so we must be doing something right!

A small booklet 'Getting a Job' has been produced which is given to all that attend. This is a precis of the day’s discussions as a reminder but is also targeted at parents and partners in the hope that with understanding they will lend their full support. The booklet can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here

As a logical follow up we have introduced short mentoring seminars into our local secondary schools for both years 11 and 12. This in the hope that by doing so we will help to get them on the right lines early and avoid seeing them at the Job Centre at a later date as a result!

In 2014 we were fortunate to receive a Rotary International 'Champions of Change' award for our work, and more recently received a Civic Award from the London Borough of Bexley for this work in our community.

Several other Rotary Clubs have now joined us in the project and are operating in their local Job Centres and schools and we are aiming to spread this still further through RIBI so that the expertise and experience of Rotarians can be available to all young unemployed throughout the British Isles and Ireland

Progress Report July 2016

Click here to read Erik’s report.

James Brokenshire MP giving advice to one of the participants

Photo - Derek Hope

Photo - Derek Hope

photo - Derek Hope