We ask grantees to deliver skills outcomes for young people as part of their Young Roots projects. We know from our Young Roots programme evaluations that high numbers of participants are picking up new heritage skills – nature conservation, archiving, exhibiting, object handling and digitisation to name a few – and also important ‘soft skills’, for example, in leadership, communication and teamwork. The current Barclay’s LifeSkills campaign underlines the value that employers place on young people being able to demonstrate such skills.
At a time of high youth unemployment we shouldn’t underestimate the opportunity that Lottery projects provide for young people to gain experience and demonstrate employability. Some grantees have used such ‘hooks’ to recruit young people to projects. Many have planned into their projects practical training and ways of endorsing young people’s achievements, including in-house certificates and awards such as this environmental one promoted by the John Muir Trust. Our research tells us, however, that for some young people - in particular for those who are struggling in formal school settings - the chance to obtain formal accreditation or a qualification can be significant.
If you have helped young people develop skills as part of a Young Roots project please share your experience with us. If you have a question about how to plan good skills work, someone in the community might be able to help.