Commonwealth Games - Gen22 helping young people grow and flourish

08 Jun 2022

GBSLEP Interim Chair Anita Bhalla talks about the Gen22 programme and how it will support the next generation.

Our business community is nothing short of resilient. Off the back of a torrid two years, now they are facing rising energy and living costs. Although the Business Activity Index decreased last month, many firms have reported ‘new wins and contracts’. However, there remains a section of our future workforce that is struggling with the impact of Covid-19 - young people.

Whether that be a feeling of isolation due to reduced social interaction, a change in family circumstances, or the impact of the transformed economic environment, previously suitable jobs for school and college leavers, can now feel out of their grasp. The last two years has denied our young people so many experiences, including a taste of the job market. So here at GBSLEP we are stepping in to help by working with the Commonwealth Games organisers. Our investment in Gen 22 has been the catalyst for a fabulous project which is now being delivered.

The Commonwealth Games Gen22 programme has been specifically designed by young people for young people. It’s all about working with young people (16 – 24) who might struggle to access Games related opportunities. This could be because of a lack of confidence, caring responsibilities, or a criminal record. By offering support to remove these barriers, the Commonwealth Games is giving young people the opportunity to undertake 30 hours of volunteering work connected to physical activity, wellbeing, creative, and digital.

These opportunities offer attendees the skills that will go on to enhance their employability and be perfect for their CV. The aim is to bridge the gap in work experience, meaning those job roles requiring employment experience won’t be as out of reach.

The Gen22 programme works in harmony with GBSLEP’s Young People Strategy – You(the) Matter, which is using the resources of the GBSLEP to create opportunities for young people with partners. We are supporting projects that engage young people in the decisions that directly impact their future and expand their skills to enable them to work in a career of their choice. Gen 22 is a great example of empowering the next generation of our region to succeed.

The Commonwealth Games understands that their legacy must touch all parts of the GBSLEP region, not just the economy but the people who live here, of all ages. I really hope Gen22 will become one of those programmes talked about for years to come and a framework for how we can enable young people to co-create programmes that help them grow and flourish.

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