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MP urges Devon businesses to back vital mentoring programme


A Devon MP is appealing to local businesses to support the next phase of a project helping young people who are out of work to kick-start their future.

The Business Powering Employment Programme (BEEP) gives 16-24 year olds in Devon the confidence and skills to secure jobs and training opportunities.

BEEP helps young people learn through performance coaching techniques and then on-going support from a mentor. Over 95 per cent of those who have been on the programme have gone on to secure work and training opportunities.

Now more businesses across Devon are needed if the programme is to reach its potential.

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, attended an event hosted by Everys Solicitors in Exeter on Friday, to meet some of the young people and mentors and learn more about BEEP.

He said: “It was great to meet Aaron and Matt and find out how BEEP is helping them. It’s really fantastic that they have moved into work and training and are doing so well, as they continue to receive support from their mentors.

“It’s important now that companies get involved and support, because these are our future employees and have so much to offer if we can work with them and help them develop the skills and confidence to move forwards in their lives.”

The programme was initially launched by Exeter City Council, using Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy funds, but is now being expanded, to support more young people across Devon.

Mentee Matt Baker, 20, from Exeter, said: “The mentoring has been brilliant for me. I meet with Llewellyn quite regularly and it’s pushing me forwards. I’m at Exeter College, and know what I want to do next, to get the qualifications I need to help students with learning difficulties. I’ve got short term and longer term goals and that’s thanks to BEEP. It would be great if the programme keeps growing so more people can benefit."

Sandra Sampson is director of Motiv-8sw, helping to run the programme.

She said: “It’s transforming. Often the young people have been out of work or education for some time, have lost their confidence and are at a low ebb. The programme is already delivering fantastic results, genuinely helping to turn people’s lives around, but we really need to scale it up so we can help more.”

Companies can support BEEP through a range of partnership opportunities, including sponsorship and mentor training, which supports the personal development of employees through becoming a mentor.

As well as making a huge difference to the life of a young person, the programme provides benefits for mentors. BEEP deliver training to all mentors, equipping them with transferable skills which can be used in the workplace.

Llewellyn Nicholls, head of business development and marketing at Everys Solicitors and a BEEP mentor, said: “It’s been hugely rewarding being a mentor to Matt. He has developed hugely over the past few months. His initial goals have now been realised and he’s firmly on the career ladder. His determination has really shone through.

“Here at Everys we were delighted to welcome Ben Bradshaw to our Exeter office. It’s fantastic that he’s getting behind BEEP.”

BEEP includes an initial two-week programme that focuses on developing self-esteem, confidence, motivation, communication, presentation skills and team work, whilst each person is also supported to develop their own action plan and start working towards achieving their goals.

Organisations interested in getting involved and supporting the programme, should contact Sandra Sampson at Motiv-8sw on 01392 873939 and sandra@motiv-8sw.co.uk.

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