Reproduced with acknowledgements to the London Borough of Hounslow.
Over 200 young people in Hounslow this week attended i-Connect, a convention offering advice and support to enable them to build a better future.
Organised by Hounslow Council’s Integrated Youth Support Service, unemployed 16-19 year olds were invited to the event at the Paul Robeson Theatre in Hounslow. Training Providers were on hand to offer apprenticeships, with Foundation Learning courses and volunteering agencies also present to guide visitors through the steps required to apply for the many vacancies available. Connexions and Youth Worker staff were also on hand to offer advice and support throughout the day.
Representatives of West Thames College, based in Isleworth and Feltham, were also in attendance to talk about courses with vacancies for young people.
Cllr Lily Bath, Hounslow’s lead Member for children, youth and families attended the event, saying:
“It was great to see so many young people in attendance here today planning the next stage of their lives.
“We work hard throughout the year to monitor the progress of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) to ensure they have the best possible chance to make the best of their situation.
“This event is just one way in which we offer young people access to the many career opportunities available in the borough; through our work conducted by the Integrated Youth Support Services and the Hounslow Education Business Partnership, we offer targeted support to ensure our young people get the step up they need to succeed.”
Cllr Sachin Gupta, Hounslow’s lead member for education was also in attendance, adding:
“This event offered those young people still unemployed after all the sixth forms, colleges and universities had enrolled their students for the academic year a chance to see the many options still available to them across the borough.
“Young people are the future, key to the success of our area for years to come. It was great to meet many who had come away from the event feeling positive and upbeat about where they wanted to go next in their careers.
“We are doing all we can to make sure not one young person is excluded from reaching their potential.”
Anthony Mulligan, 17, from Hounslow West who attended i-Connect said of the event:
“There were plenty of options to choose from and I got a real buzz going round and seeing what was available.
I’m off next week to an open day at the Xenos Academy as ICT has always interested me, with interviews for the courses the following week. Today has been really eye opening and hopefully I’ll start the course as soon as possible.”