Wigan youngsters offered chance to join region's biggest work experience scheme

Andy Burnham at the Meet your Future launch
Andy Burnham at the Meet your Future launch

Scores of young Wigan people are to be offered the chance to gain a taste of the world of work by stepping into the shoes of some of the city region’s biggest and most influential businesspeople.

Meet Your Future is the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s flagship campaign to give young people workplace shadowing opportunities showcasing the amazing breadth of careers in the area.

In partnership with The Careers and Enterprise Company, and building on work across the city-region through BridgeGM, Meet Your Future enables businesses from all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs to meet their potential future workforce and gain a unique insight into the skills and talents young people have.

For those involved, Meet Your Future is a chance to make contact with businesses and individuals as well as getting inspired about a future living and working in the city region.

GM Mayor Andy Burnham, said: “When I left university and started looking for a job in Greater Manchester I remember how hard it was to get some experience on my CV. Opportunities seemed to go to people whose parents had the most connections.

“That’s why I wanted to create this ground-breaking work shadowing scheme. I want every young person growing up in our city-region to have a chance to break into the industry of their choice and gain the confidence that can come from successful work shadowing.”

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and partners will lead the race to get the 50 initial businesses to open their doors to support a steady stream of young people into a work shadowing opportunities. The ultimate target is opportunities available in a variety of business environments, up to 1,000 by 2020.

Coun Sean Fielding, GMCA lead for education, skills and apprenticeships, said: “This is about opening the door to allow all young people the opportunity to experience the world of work and test careers they never knew existed.

“It’s also a great way for employers to commit and become part of the Bridge GM Community which aims to offer a young person an experience of the world of work in whichever way suits the business.

"This is not only important for work shadowing, but it will also support future connections that we want to help forge such as building up Enterprise Adviser Network, the UCAS-style system, Opportunity Pass and industry placements.”

In order to maximise Meet Your Future’s impact, GM businesses and education providers will be supported with the necessary tools to make their work shadowing a success over the coming months, connecting that talent pipeline to the skills needs and supporting young people to be life-ready.

Meet Your Future builds upon a commitment to deliver for the city-region’s young people; earlier this month a ground-breaking new UCAS-style system aimed at helping young people across Greater Manchester gain access to apprenticeships, technical training or other employment opportunities moved a step closer to reality.

The launch of a new streamlined online system is slated for the autumn.