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Staying on the path towards higher education and employment doesn’t come easily to everyone. The obstacles and challenges faced by young people during their school years can be overwhelming but we believe it’s never too late to get back on track towards study and employment – with the right help, support and guidance.
Our partnership with the National Youth Theatre (NYT) is just one way in which we support young adults working to gain a qualification and their ideal job. Alex Mayes, Corporate Responsibilities and Communities Manager for CLV Communities, has blogged about our role in trying to change the lives and fortunes of a group of aspiring actors, aged 19 to 25:
Helping National Youth Theatre Students Take the Next Step
This week in London, as part of a partnership between CLV Communities and National Youth Theatre (NYT), I will be joining a group of colleagues from Campus Living Villages to help 25 young people from the NYT prepare for their applications to University and Drama school.
These are not your average drama students. They are talented, of course, but they are also young people from the most challenging backgrounds who will spend nine months on the NYT’s Playing Up programme. Success on this scheme – open only to 19-25 year olds who are not in education, employment or training – will give them a qualification equivalent to two A levels which could be a potential passport to higher education.
However, as anyone who works with young people will know, a qualification is only part of what they need to get a place at college, to succeed if they make it there and then, to get the job they want once they’ve finished. For aspiring actors it is even harder: they need resilience, patience and the ability to work while waiting for the right roles to come up.
It’s in this area – setting up young people for future success – that the CLV team is helping out, supporting this year’s Playing Up cohort as they prepare for the next stage of their lives through a series of workshops.
Our first session, back in October, focused on life skills and employability. There, we helped them think about the soft skills they will need to pursue their theatrical career and the mindset they will need to succeed in the wider world of work.
This week’s sessions will build on this. We’ll be helping them understand how to succeed in interviews, providing practice, so that whether they’re sat in front of someone with a view to getting a part-time job or a place on course, they will know how to approach it in the right way.
We will also be sitting down with each student to talk through how best to approach their UCAS applications – particularly the all-important personal statement.
Although we have supported the NYT for some years now, I am really pleased to take our partnership to a different level.
Given their day-to-day experience working with students of all backgrounds and interests in our villages, our volunteers are perfectly placed to provide the Playing Up participants the support and insight they need.
As a business, we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with an organisation like the NYT who shares our belief that education doesn’t just mean study but means developing skills for life.
On a personal level, having attended some of the shows and witnessed the calibre of the young talent at the NYT, it is truly a pleasure to be able to help them on their way.
National Youth Theatre are currently looking for Britain’s best young talent to attend its 2016 Acting Auditions and Technical Interviews. If you know a young person aged 14-25 who might benefit from engaging with their work, send them to www.nyt.org.uk/auditions.
Anything is possible. It starts with an audition.