From Boy to Man – A Journey to Work

’I enjoyed the whole trip, it was a very fun experience and I’d encourage young people to do it as it’s an experience not a lot of people can say they have done’, says Ewan. He and other ‘Journey to Work participants summarize the project as ‘very successful’. This is even more so if you run through the statistics: 87,5% of the participants are currently in jobs!

So why is Journey to Work programme so successful for young people? It all comes down to 3 key elements. The Journey to Work programme delivered:
1.Work Experience
2.A good functioning network
3.Quality Coaching

Ewan at TuinwereldEwan (left, picture taken in front of  Garden Centre Tuinwereld, one of his workplacements) was one of the participants: ‘I am a 17 year old male from Edinburgh, Scotland. I enjoy playing video games, watching movies, American Football & mixed martial arts. I live in a flat with my Mum, Brother and Sister. One day I’d like to live my dream of Ranch in Texas.’ Ewan was a good example of a young person who still does not know exactly what kind of job he likes or knows what to do will lead him to his dream… Werkcenter Scotland offered 2 appropriate work placements (3 weeks at the wood factory & 3 weeks at the Garden centre) to give him more tasters of work experience.

Ewan: ‘My time in Holland was very different from my time in Scotland. As the circumstances were different I found it very enjoyable. The accommodation was fantastic and the hostess was very welcoming and caring when inviting me into her home. Work was very enjoyable also, with a different variety of different things to do for the companies I worked for, including delivery’s, stacking shelve’s and moving stock for point A to point B, wood crafting, etc. Exploring the Netherlands was pretty easy. The first week was good, I found settling in very well. The other weeks were also very good and now that all weeks have been completed I can say that my stay in Holland was just as good as I thought it would be. I’d love to take what I have learned here in Holand and use the skills in Scotland for future employment and life in general.’

11 participants (2 female, 9 male) joined the project. The young people were a mix of those currently participating in vocational training and recent graduates. The Journey to Work programme is based upon the Werkcenter Model, and its 1-2-3 methodology and the approach of the host organisation Dutch Foundation of Innovation Welfare 2 Work (DFW2W). The partnership provided work (experience). Because ‘from work to work’ is much easier then from benefit to work. The fact that they worked in the Netherlands was an upgrade for their CV as well. This really stands out on their CV… Each potential employer would asked about their ‘Going Dutch’ experience.

Further: Th programme gave good quality coaching, support and guidance to the participants in gaining & improving new knowledge, skills and qualifications to facilitate personal development and responsibility, to obtain basic work experience & qualifications and/or participation in the local, national and EU labour market. DFW2W is a very experienced partner and was specifically chosen for their broad range of apprenticeships and work placements and specialisation in the Dutch Rotterdam and Randstad area. DFW2W has an educational social inclusion approach & they use person-centred planning &  action-based learning processes. The broad range of apprenticeships and workplacements included the sectors of Welfare, logistics, retail, manufacturing, construction, administration, agriculture and tourism.

Last but not least. The mobility project made professional use of the networks in the Netherlands (MKB in Rotterdam) and  Scotland (Joined up for Jobs Edinburgh network). A good functioning network is one the three key elements of successful employment projects, getting young people into jobs!  Currently Ewan is doing an UK apprenticeship programme.

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