Showcase of initiatives helping Carlisle's unemployed teenagers

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Mayor of Carlisle Trish Vasey visits Inspira offices in Carlisle
Mayor of Carlisle Trish Vasey visits Inspira offices in Carlisle

Initiatives helping young people develop the vital skills employers are looking for have been on show across Cumbria.

The Mayor of Carlisle, councillor Trish Vasey, was among the dignitaries to visit Inspira's offices around the county on national Employability Day.

Three schemes supporting young people and job hunters in Carlisle were showcased at Inspira's Lowther Street centre - NCS, Launchpad and The Key.

NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime scheme for 15 to 17-year-olds, those who have just completed their GCSEs.

Nine NCS participants talked to the mayor and other city councillors about their plans to work with supported adults at the Heathlands Project.

Mrs Vasey also discovered more about Launchpad, which works with 16 to 19-year-olds currently not in any form of education, employment or training.

They visit Inspira's centre twice a week for at least six months working together on a series of challenges designed to improve their practical skills and develop strengths such as teamwork and confidence.

Nicky Jackson, Inspira's north Cumbria area operations manager, said: "Employability Day is a real opportunity to promote the work we do, the range of activities and services we offer to customers and how that links into the agenda of employability locally.

"There are a lot of small and medium sized firms in Carlisle and trying to get the message across of what we are doing can be more challenging here for that reason than in other parts of the county where there are large employers like the nuclear sector in west Cumbria and BAE in Barrow."

She added: "It is important to have conversations and events like this for people like our councillors when it comes to spreading the message about what is on offer, particularly in terms of when they go out into the wider community.

"Giving them an insight means they are aware of what we do when they meet employers. It also gives them a greater understanding of some of the barriers people can have to get into employment and how they can be overcome."

The mayor also met with adults currently taking part in The Key, a scheme which aims to build confidence as they look to apply for work.

MP Sue Hayman attended a similar event in her Workington constituency. There was also an event in Barrow.

Inspira is a main sponsor of this year's Golden Apple Awards, brought to you by CN Group, which publishes the News & Star.

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