How new careers centre is helping Lowestoft generation failed by past low school standards to find work
- Credit: Nick Butcher
They are said by some to be a generation failed by a town's past of low educational standards.
But now, a new career service is helping unemployed young people in a coastal town to gain the job-hunting skills they missed out at school on so they can find work in the future.
Phil Aves, change manager at Lowestoft Rising - an organisation working to improve the town - said: 'We know there has been a problem with youth unemployment because of the attainment levels in the past.
'The schools are better now and the young people are now gaining it - but we've failed half a generation.'
So Lowestoft Rising has - along with Suffolk County Council, Lowestoft College and the Department for Work and Pensions - helped to set up a new centre where they can look for jobs and get careers advice.
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Called MyGo, the facility in Bevan Street East, close to Lowestoft's railway station, advertises vacancies and work experience opportunities.
A team of work coaches and youth support workers then guide young people to employment or training, from help to write a CV and interview skills, to helping them make the transition into the world of work.
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Katrina Gardiner, senior policy officer for MyGo - which also has a branch in Ipswich and aims to expand across Suffolk - said: 'Lowestoft has got a higher number of young people not in work, education or training compared to other areas.'
That, she explained, then leaves young people in a catch-22 situation, as: 'You need work experience to get a job, but they can't find work experience.
'We're working hard to create work experience opportunities.
'There is a perception from some employers that young people don't have the right attitudes.
'But young people sometimes lack the networks - they don't know where the opportunities are or how to do it.
'If young people know what they want to do, we can help them access those opportunities.'
The goal of MyGo, she added, is to match employers looking for talented young people with youngsters looking for jobs.
Since opening earlier this year, MyGo in Lowestoft has supported 300 people, 40 of whom have gone into work.
However Miss Gardiner said: 'It's all about their journey. It doesn't matter how long or short that journey is, we'll help them through that.'
Sonia Barker, county councillor for Pakefield and opposition spokesman for education on Suffolk County Council, said: 'This is a really important development in Lowestoft.
'It is vital young people have a walk-in facility like this which they can call their own.'
Mr Aves added: 'We know there has been a problem with achievement in the past, probably linked to some of the schools.
'The schools are better now, but we have got a lot of young people who have been left disenfranchised and haven't got the education they should've done.
'This building will hopefully be the place they can get that.'
Anyone can walk into the MyGo facility during its opening times between 8.30am and 5.30pm, or can be referred from places like Lowestoft College.
People can also visit www.its-mygo.co.uk/#welcome-to-mygo