A mayoral celebratory lunch to recognise the work initiatives undertaken by eleven young people in care took place this afternoon at the Civic Centre in Merton.
The teenagers aged from 15 to 17 years old were participants in the council’s Teenagers to Work scheme, an annual initiative that aims to offer children in care an opportunity to gain confidence, skills and experience in a real working environment.
The teenagers held placements in a range of departments within the council from Libraries and Safer Merton to time spent working in the Garth Road Workshop, Wimbledon Park Watersports Centre and the Generator business centre.
Each young person applied and was interviewed for their preferred position and, on acceptance, worked two 35 hour paid weeks alongside a council staff member who they shadowed for the duration.
“As well as developing a deeper understanding of specific career paths and experience of working full time, these teenagers also come away with important interview experience, details of their placement for their CVs and potential work references,” says Councillor Debbie Shears, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.
“The Teenagers to Work scheme is a real opportunity for these young people to gain valuable skills and experience which will help them in finding a future job or planning their career.”
The Mayor of Merton presented the apprentices with a certificate of achievement at the lunch and commended all eleven for their hard work over the previous two weeks.
“As a council we’re always exploring ways to encourage young people to think about their futures and plan for their careers and the Teenagers to Work scheme does just that,” says Mayor of Merton, Councillor Martin Whelton.
“They’ve put in a fantastic effort during their time with the council and staff have really enjoyed sharing their knowledge and expertise with young adults who are so keen and willing to learn,” he says.