The experience of the last few months mentoring Danielle Devlin for BBC Radio 5 Live has been interesting and worthwhile. I have watched Danielle gain strength from the support she has received from her local Enterprise Club, the publicity from Radio 5 Live and from the regular mentoring opportunity with myself. It has all contributed to broadening her horizons as to what she is capable of achieving. From a hesitant start Danielle built her own website and created her own marketing material and approached her local Primary School and Community Centre. This resulted in opportunities to paint a timeline of history murals for the school and paint murals for the Community Centre. It also involved Danielle holding art classes for children with behavioural problems at the Community Centre which she very much enjoyed.
Enterprise Allowance Scheme
Danielle took advantage of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme which is available to young people who have been on Job Seeker’s Allowance for 6 months. The idea behind this scheme is a good one, to create an entrepreneurial spirit in our young unemployed and I know it has been working successfully in some regions e.g. Merseyside. However Danielle’s experience was not as good as her local Job Centre staff in Stanley were not trained to manage people on the scheme and it was difficult for Danielle to even have an appointment as she is not registered on their computer system because she is not claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance. Danielle’s allowance stopped for 2 weeks when she moved from claiming the full allowance to half the allowance and the system did not connect, which caused Danielle further financial worry. The scheme is backed up by mentors, however many of them are inexperienced in running a business and so it may not prove that beneficial for many start up business ideas. I also question why claimants have to wait 6 months to apply for the Enterprise Allowance and in the meantime claim Job Seeker’s Allowance. If you are going to start a business and not look for a job is this a waste of Government money?
Youth Unemployment: Creating a Network of Motivational Coaches
Mentoring for young unemployed people is an excellent idea as it gives them the support that someone out there is championing them and encourages self belief and confidence. My personal view is that Motivational Coaching of young people would be much more powerful than mentoring as it will create more opportunities and creative ideas for business start ups. Coaching gets to the core of a person’s potential and a Coach will work with their Client to encourage their self awareness and potential for personal growth. Coaching is still seen in the UK as the preserve of Senior Management but it can have a great impact on any person’s life. Our young people are coming out of school with very little awareness of how to work with a Positive Mental Attitude in life and this is where Coaching can help. I would be happy to work with the Government on creating a Network of Motivational Coaches to tackle Youth Unemployment.
I am looking forward to following Danielle’s progress over the next few months as she continues to market her business. Working with her has shown me the potential and abilities of many of our young people which as a nation we must not ignore.
Motivational Trainer & Coach