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At YMCA MK one of our main objectives is to support our young people into meaningful and sustainable employment.

Read on to find out how our Personal Development Coach, Lorraine, supports young people at YMCA MK.

Q. How long have you been a Personal Development Coach and why did you apply for the position?
I have been at YMCA MK for a year. I have previously worked in education and I wanted to use and build on this experience to support young people struggling with their personal development after leaving education. I realised so many young people were leaving education without the skills or support they needed to find and sustain a job. I want to help young people with their personal development; support them to access training and education and upskill them with the ultimate goal of finding a job that interests and motivated them rather than just any job.

Q. Can you give examples of the ways in which you’ve helped young people as a Personal Development Coach?
For me the most important thing is to build rapport with our residents, so I can work on improving self esteem and confidence as these are the foundations of each resident understanding their self-worth. I love watching our residents, some of whom have experienced significant trauma, flourish as they progress through the pathway and go on to support their peers.

The best thing about my job is the face-to-face contact with our young people who have so much to offer and knowing that I have made that young person feel better about themselves at the end of a session. Seeing their faces when they have got the job or attended the course is amazing and I love hearing about how they are getting on.

Q. Why do you think it’s important for young people to have access to employability support?
Some of our residents have experienced significant trauma in the past and our role is to provide holistic support to get them ‘job-ready’. This ranges from improving self-esteem and confidence, prepping for interviews or talking about any additional qualifications they might need.

Our approach at YMCA MK is different, we build rapport with residents and talk about the best way we can support residents to achieve their potential. Our support is person-centred, bespoke and adapted to what each young person needs. We try to make the time to get to know our residents, talk about their goals and how we can support them to get there. We are also able to support local job centres understand the specific needs of our young people attending appointments to stop them being sanctioned unnecessarily.