Council celebrates young people’s achievements
To mark the United Nations’ International Youth Day on 12 August, Telford and Wrekin Council is celebrating the entrepreneurial achievements of young people across Telford and Wrekin.
Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Cllr Shaun Davies, said:
“It’s been an incredibly difficult 18 months for everybody in the borough, but our young people have been particularly impacted. On behalf of the council, I’d like to thank them for their resilience and congratulate them on their many achievements in the face of adversity.
“I do hope that this generation can start having fun again this summer, sharing experiences with their friends at some of the great leisure facilities we have for young people in Telford and Wrekin.
“We care about our young people and recognise that when we give them opportunities to thrive it benefits us all.
“Mindful of the challenges they face as they enter the world of work, we’ve recently invested in innovative campaigns to help young people in our borough develop business skills through our Pride in Our High Street programme. Their response has blown us away, delivering some real, impactful changes on the ground, benefiting our whole community.”
The council’s Pride in Our High Street Programme, which looks to regenerate the borough’s high streets and drive the local economy, has seen a number of initiatives delivered over the past four years, including a strong focus on youth engagement and entrepreneurship.
Cllr Lee Carter, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood, Commercial and Regeneration, said:
“We recognised that young people are key to the survival of the high street, as both customers and future entrepreneurs, so we launched a number of campaigns including the Young High Street Challenge which saw hundreds of young people inspired to think about entrepreneurship as a future career. The campaign engaged with almost 1,000 young people, with some 200 students participating in the Challenge programme and finals. The legacy of Young High Street Challenge lies not just in inspiring young people but in tangible outputs.”
One of the campaign’s outputs has been the launch and ongoing success of Retro Shack in Wellington. This project, created by students from Wrekin College who were winners of the Young High Street Challenge, has not only continued to trade through the pandemic, but will also now deliver further benefits as it will be offering an enterprise training opportunity to students from across the borough.
Further youth-centric projects delivered by the council’s Pride in our High Streets programme include the launch of Wellington Market Youth Market and a ‘High Street MBA’ programme.
The Youth Market, which launched this summer, is the brainchild of pupils from Burton Borough and Haberdashers Adams School who wanted to create a vibrant and youthful area in the market, hosting a year-round programme of markets and live music, complementing the new Wellington Market Food Court.
The High Street MBA is a unique and inspiring learning experience for 15 to18-year-olds, designing practical solutions to regenerate high streets, which was piloted in Telford in June 2020 ahead of a future national roll-out. Delivered in partnership with Wrekin College, the council sponsored almost 100 young people, many from deprived communities, to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. They worked with local and national businesses and learned key business skills, enabling them to create professional, innovative proposals for high street regeneration. The project is now working with Telford and Wrekin Council to see whether any of these ideas could be further explored.
Cllr Carter said:
“I’m delighted our young people embraced these entrepreneurship opportunities and am hugely impressed with the results they have achieved. The future is clearly in safe hands.
“Coupled with the 100 work placements that we’re offering to young people through the Kickstart scheme, our launch last week of the Youth Hub supporting people back into education or work, and with work now underway on our Digital Skills hub as part of the exciting Station Quarter development, I’m so pleased that we’re actively creating a better, more opportunity-filled borough for the younger generation.
“On International Youth Day, I’d like to say congratulations and thank you to all the young people across Telford and Wrekin who contribute so much to our communities.”