Headlines: October 21st, 2008

The charity TAG (Transforming a Generation) has called on local government to help fund projects for getting young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) into work.

The pilot programme was launched on 22 September in West London and the first part, which concentrates on employability, has just been completed. The young people are now into the second part which focuses on gym based learning and training. One of the boys who completed the first part said: “At first I thought the early stuff was boring because I wanted to get to the gym stuff, but near the end of the second week I realised how much stuff I’d learned and how little I really knew about what it’s like to work in a serious job.”

TAG is the first organisation to offer this type of exit strategy to help young people swap a street life for career prospects and develop a greater sense of self value and self worth. Successful TAG graduates are schooled in the “soft skills” necessary to secure a job and are also guaranteed job interviews for positions in the health and wellbeing sector.

The differences to other youth development programmes are that it is employer led and developed, delivered in the local community as opposed to colleges or training facilities out of the area and is job driven.

The national pilot is the beginning of a long-term initiative which will culminate in the realisation of TAG’s founder’s ambition of opening 100 TAG centres, across Britain, in the next five years. The charity is looking to local government as one of the sources of funding to be able to achieve its goal to turn 6,000 disenfranchised youth into qualified fitness professionals who, for the first time in their lives, will enjoy a viable career and play a significant and valued role in society.