Yesterday saw the hosting of the first Tooting Youth Enterprise Summit, held at Business Launchpad in the Trident Centre in Tooting Broadway.
The event was organised by local businessman and Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Tooting, Dan Watkins, and brought local agencies, charities, businesses and young people together to help co-ordinate action to tackle youth unemployment in the area.
In all, 30 people representing 20 different organisations attended, including many of those working on the front-line in this field, tackling disadvantage to help unemployed 16 to 24 year olds build their skills and find work. Attendees included Business Launchpad, Job Centre Plus, Foyer Federation, Tooting Hub, Shaftesbury Young Centre, The Prince’s Trust and many more.
Speaking afterwards, Dan Watkins said:
‘One of my main reasons for entering politics is a desire to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. A key part of this is ensuring that everyone of working age can get onto the jobs ladder and pursue a career which they find rewarding.
The economy in Tooting has been performing well for the past few years and youth unemployment has halved. But we still have 250 young people who are not in training or work and I wanted to ensure they get the support they need. I organised the Summit to join up the numerous organisations working in this field so that they are fully aware of each other and can cross-refer young people to the service best suited for their situation. In time, this will help even more young people find work.
Caroline Odogwu, Marketing & Outreach Manager at Business Launchpad commented:
‘Business Launchpad is a leading charity in London for mentoring 16 to 30 year olds who wish to set up a business or become self-employed. The Summit allowed us to make the many local agencies working in this field aware of our service so that they can signpost young people to us. Similarly, it was incredibly helpful for us make contacts at the organisations providing other options to young people in Wandsworth, whether that be a traineeship, qualification, apprenticeship or employment.
The Summit also generated new ideas for supporting young people into work and we will be working with Dan and other to take these forward in the future’.