Youth Advisory Group (YAG) member Saraa has written our latest blog post from the group of young people who sit on the Greater Manchester’s Youth Task Force.  

Saraa joined the 24-strong team of young people in August and since then has been working with Chair of the Task Force, Diane Modahl, and other stakeholders to develop and deliver the Young Person's Guarantee.

Saraa is working on the Keeping Connected strand of the Task Force and has kindly shared her experience of attending employability sessions.

During lockdown I haven’t been able to do the things I normally do - especially volunteering. But even though I’m not able to get a job right now, I decided to spend a bit of time each week going to employability sessions run by a youth group. I thought ‘why not?’

It wasn’t a massive commitment, I didn’t have to do extra work outside of the sessions, the information was easy to pick up and l could just come along. On the rare occasion I couldn’t make it to a session, I could easily find out what important stuff happened and get the information, so I didn’t miss out much.

We explored useful skills, had a few opportunities to talk to other people about their experiences, journeys and advice on what it’s like to be employed and how to get there.

We even had people who have backgrounds in drama, dance and construction. We covered interview skills, better jobs searches, matching your skills to your chosen career and more. It wasn’t just about CV building, career opportunities and cover letters.

I think the best sessions were about how to be successful at work including a lot of info about how good mental health can either make it or break it when applying or keeping a job. We were also given activities and examples to build positive, constructive mindsets and tips on coping strategies at work to stay well.

Assertiveness and knowing your rights as an employee were extremely helpful and covered situations at work.

Overall, it has been a really good experience and it has never been boring even if I already knew some of the content.

There were other people at different stages who we could teach and share information with so we can all understand what’s going on.

As a result, it really helped to fill in gaps in my knowledge, there were new things I never even thought about before and I feel a lot more prepared now. To top it off, I can use what I’ve learned to polish my CV and know what to expect.

You can also find out all about the work we have been doing as members of the Youth Advisory Group on GMCA’s website.

And soon, GMACS is going to be updated so as well as include lots of information about careers, apprenticeships, and where to study in Greater Manchester, it will become a hub for everything that’s on offer to young people as part of the Young Person’s Guarantee.

You can find the GMACS website by typing ‘GMACS’ in to your search bar of going to GMACS.co.uk.

Saraa, Keeping Connected