Belfast Telegraph

Young prosper on lifelines thrown by Prince's Trust

By Lesley Houston

Since 1976 the Prince's Trust has been helping young adults build a life they choose rather than languish in the one thrown at them.

It offers a multitude of entrepreneurial lifelines to people, like Louise Firinne, from grants and enterprise programmes to mentoring and training.

Ultimately it aims to help disenfranchised young people find gainful employment – and a purpose in life.

Statistics from the charity reveal that approximately one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training.

Against that backdrop is a UK economy which loses £10m every day in lost productivity from the current generation of youths who are unemployed.

Meanwhile the UK suffers £1bn in losses caused by youth crime – every year.

The trust, whose patron is the Prince of Wales, aims to inspire, but also to offer practical and financial support to the young people who need it most.

Initiatives include the Enterprise Programme, which provides money and support to help young people start up in business.

The Team Programme is another one of its projects and is a 12-week personal development course, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

There is also a series of short 'Get Started' courses offering intensive training and experience in a specific sector to help young people get a job.

Development Awards are among the small grants available to kickstart young adults to seek to improve their lot in life through education, training or work.

Prince's Trust xl clubs give 13 to 19-year-olds who are at risk of truanting, exclusion and underachievement a vested interest in their education.

They aim to improve attendance, motivation and social skills.

Another scheme, the Fairbridge programme, strives to equip people aged from 13 to 25 with the motivation, self-confidence and skills they need to really make a difference in their lives.

Belfast Telegraph