Young People

New careers and apprenticeship chat function for young people launches

AS TEENAGERS across the city-region receive their GCSE results a new chat function has been added to Greater Manchester’s apprenticeship and careers service.

GMACS – which is short for Greater Manchester Apprenticeship and Careers Service - is a unique service for young people in Greater Manchester. The service has placed useful tools and options at the fingertips of young people since February 2020, to help them plan for their future – with already more than 10,000 people visiting the site.

From Year 7 through to becoming an adult, young people across Greater Manchester have access to a range of tools to help them build their skills, search and apply for opportunities with businesses and apprenticeships, as well as for college and post-16 courses.

GMACS’ latest feature is an online ‘chat’ function – meaning there are now experts on hand from Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Work and Skills guide young people on what steps they can take next.

The site also has a wide range of digital resources available to help young people worried about returning to school or college in September.

To ensure no young person is left behind in Greater Manchester, a Youth Task Force is being established, chaired by Diane Modahl - who in June was appointed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

The Task Force will drive forward a guarantee for young people who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Supporting the Task Force is the newly established Youth Advisory Group (YAG) – which kick-started its involvement in the development of the Young Person’s Guarantee on Friday, August 7, 2020. Following their successful applications, 24 young people aged 11 to 30-years-old, who make up the YAG, met as a group virtually with Diane.

The YAG is just one element of the creation and development of the Young Person’s Guarantee - which will reflect young people’s concerns about the future and will offer an outline of support and opportunities available. It will build on what is already available now as well as identify and respond to gaps. This will be particularly true of more vulnerable and marginalised young people. 

Chair of Greater Manchester’s Youth Task Force, Diane Modahl, said: “The Youth Advisory Group is paramount to us developing and shaping the Young Person's Guarantee and its members will work to ensure that the needs of local young people remain at the forefront of the development. 

“It was a pleasure to welcome all 24 Young Advisory Group members on board, who are a true reflection of Greater Manchester. As hoped and expected our first meeting demonstrated the energy and passion that young people have in order to protect and progress their futures.

“We are still in the consultation stages of the Task Force, ahead of the Young Person’s Guarantee being developed and launched, however, we know that a huge part of our work will be focused around GMCAS. So, there’s no need to wait – we encourage young people to put the new chat function, and other aspects of the site, to use as soon as they can to help with their next steps and planning for their future.”

The Youth Advisory Group includes Emma, from Bury Youth Council, and Bethan, of the Proud Trust, who sit on Greater Manchester’s Youth Combined Authority and are both excited to take on the new opportunity. 

Emma said: “I am so excited to have the opportunity to be part of the Greater Manchester Youth Advisory Group. I can’t wait to work with Greater Manchester Combined Authority to ensure the recovery from COVID-19 supports young people and allows us to flourish.”  

Other members of the Youth Advisory Group include Chloe and Kwame from Manchester, Bobby from Tameside and Angus from Bury.

Chloe, representing the borough of Manchester said: “I am delighted to be a part of the GM Youth Advisory group. I am passionate about ensuring young people thrive in Greater Manchester regardless of their background or demographic. I look forward to collaborating with other young people and all involved to ensure we create a great guarantee."

The new group represents the diversity of voices across Greater Manchester. Successful candidates were shortlisted based on varying demographics, as well as their passion to share their experiences, opinions and needs of young people across the city-region, ensuring those commonly marginalised have their voices heard. 

The next Youth Advisory Group meeting will take place on Friday, August 27.  

Find out more about the Youth Task Force, Young Person’s Guarantee and Youth Advisory Group on GMCA’s website.

Go to GMACS to access information and advice on careers and apprenticeships, along with the new chat function (see yellow message icon at bottom right of screen).

The chat function is available 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday. At all other times an email can be sent, which will be picked up and responded to during office hours.

Article Published: 20/08/2020 13:59 PM