Home North West Wirral Mayor teams up with Sale Sharks to tackle youth unemployment

Wirral Mayor teams up with Sale Sharks to tackle youth unemployment

Mayor Geoffrey Watt (centre) and HomeServe Brand Director John Greaves (right) join Sharks coaches at the launch event

Led by Premiership Rugby side Sale Sharks, the Wirral business community came out to support the project, which aims to boost job prospects for 16-18 year olds

A new community programme, led by Premiership Rugby side Sale Sharks, has launched in Wirral aiming to help tackle some of the problems faced by young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Wirral Mayor Geoffrey Watt joined Council Leader Cllr Phil Davies and more than 50 people from Wirral businesses including Park Group, The Contact Company, the Chamber of Commerce and Wirral Metropolitan College to support the launch of Advantage Wirral at The Hive Youth Zone, in Birkenhead.

The ground-breaking project has been created for locally-based 16-18 year olds, after already helping improve the job prospects of more than 140 young people following a successful pilot project in Manchester and Salford earlier this year.

Now the Sharks are hoping to replicate the programme’s success in Wirral which has a higher than average number of NEET young people in the area.

“It was fantastic to see so many people at the launch event in support of Advantage Wirral,” said Alison Warwood, Head of Programmes at Sale Sharks Community Trust. “You could sense a real desire for businesses and community groups to come together as one to support local NEET young people.

“This programme has had a positive impact on lots of young people in the North West already and we’re delighted to be expanding its reach into Wirral.

“Advantage Wirral is all about connecting young people with opportunities that can help them see a brighter future. That could take the form of qualifications, new skills or training and often work placements or apprenticeships.

“We were really pleased to have so many people at our launch event because the Wirral business community can play a huge role in helping to give these young people opportunities to develop and grow, which will have a positive impact on local communities too.”

In addition to work placements, other aspects of the programme include life skills sessions, closer mentoring and support, training and sports sessions – all of which are delivered by Sale Sharks’ award-winning community coaches.

The launch event also included a Q&A with a young learner from Wythenshawe Advantage and keynote speeches from Cllr Watt, as well as John Greaves, Brand Director from home assistance provider HomeServe, about the combined power of business and sport.