As the year draws to an end we find that reflection is often a widespread feeling. Here at The Future Melting Pot we have been taking some time to look back over 2016, and we want to share our journey over the past year!
Our EmployAbility project has been one of our major success stories of the year. 2016 saw us deliver the action research and support programme stages of the EmployAbility project, propelling young people into stable and sustainable employment and education opportunities.
Through our social action research we reached out to young, NEET (not in employment, education or training) people from Hodge Hill, giving them the opportunity to have their voices heard on issues surrounding employment. Our interviews with local employers then gave us an insight to the other side of the labour market, and informed the development of our support programme to “bridge the gap” between the two groups. Our researchers and participants found this an insightful and enriching experience, and our report presenting our findings will be published in early 2017!
Our EmployAbility support programme has seen NEETs from Hodge Hill receive tailored mentoring to help them access employment, training and education opportunities. On the EmployAbility programme, participants have been supported in overcoming significant barriers to employment and education, including criminal records, low levels of qualifications and long-term unemployment. This has been a really rewarding experience for The Future Melting Pot, and we are very proud of what our young people have achieved!
“The best thing about EmployAbility was that my mentor really listened to me and didn’t just tell me what I could and couldn’t do … I’m much more confident around new people now and feel settled into employment” – EmployAbility participant, 2016
We had the pleasure of continuing and developing our partnership with West Midlands Fire Service in 2016. Being based at West Midland Fire Service Headquarters, we are privileged to have the opportunity to assist the Service with community engagement and diversity and equality. Our biggest collaboration this year was our Open Day at Ward End Fire Station in June. The day was attended by people of all ages, and attendees engaged in interactive activities on road safety and fire safety, as well as having the opportunity to talk to local employers about employment opportunities and apprenticeships, and sign up to receive tailored employment support.
2016 has been a great year for TFMP staff, volunteers and interns. This year has presented some very exciting opportunities for our staff, including Estella, our CEO, attending a reception at 10 Downing Street and attending an Emerging Leaders programme at Windsor Castle!
2016 saw the Board of The Future Melting Pot achieve some greatthings. Through taking the time to understand how to best work together and utilise the different skill sets, talent and perspectives within the Board, real progress has been made in developing the company and our strategy going forward!
As well as supporting young people through our programmes, we also provide internships and graduate opportunities to help young people gain workplace skills and experience. We have had the pleasure of working with many talented graduates and undergraduates this year, who have all given valuable contributions to the company through their enthusiasm and hard-work. We are thankful for their time at TFMP, and proud of how they have developed and what we are sure they will go on to achieve!
We are very fortunate to have some great volunteers atThe Future Melting Pot who bring a variety of skills and expertise to the company. Our volunteers this year have been invaluable in assisting in the delivery of projects and day-to-day running of TFMP! We are very grateful for the time they commit to helping us and for always being a joy to work with!
“I have loved volunteering at TFMP as it has helped me update my previous skills whilst learning new ones. It has been lovely and rewarding when you see unemployed young people get back into employment” – TFMP Volunteer, 2016
A gigantic thank you to all our staff, interns, board members and volunteers for all your hard work in 2016! You have all been a pleasure to work alongside; from the knowledge and experience each of you have been able to share, to providing great company, many laughs and some delicious cakes!
2017 is set to be an even bigger year for TFMP, with planning for a new project working with cross-sector partners underway! We have recently received a commission to undertake innovative research into the relationship between patterns of youth unemployment, accidental dwelling fires and road traffic collisions. Our collaborating partners have a shared passion for helping the youth of Birmingham, and our research results will be used to develop intervention programmes to promote healthier attitudes to risk. Having secured partnerships and support from key agencies in Birmingham and assembled a talented and enthusiastic research team, we will be beginning the research in January 2017!