Work experience success for young people

Merton Council has successfully placed nine young people on work experience as part of the Teenagers to Work Scheme.

Under the Teenagers to Work Scheme, promoted by the Department of Health, officers of Merton’s Children’s Services have co-ordinated nine two-week placements in a wide range of settings in the Council’s offices for young people who are in care or have recently left care.

The scheme provides an opportunity to gain a valuable taste of working life. It forms part of the national government initiative, Quality Protects, that aims to improve the services and the opportunities available for looked after children.

During their work experience with Merton, the young people became involved in the sections they have been working in and carried out tasks such as researching, undertaking surveys, helping with office duties and shadowing colleagues.

It is the first time Merton has run this project and the results have been outstanding. In some cases, the two-week placement has led to possible long-term career opportunities within the Council.

The placements begun on Monday 23 July and on their last day, Friday 3 August, Councillor Maxi Martin presented each participant with a certificate to mark their achievement.

Councillor Maxi Martin said: “This is a tremendous scheme and I would like to thank everyone involved. The young people taking part in this scheme have put in so much effort to make it work and I am delighted that we have been able to offer two of them jobs.

“I would also like to say thank you to the council departments who welcomed these young people and made their time with Merton very rewarding and something to help them in the future.”

The young people have given valuable comments on the way services are provided and the Council hopes they will want to participate in other developments throughout the year now that a good working relationship has been established.