Employers urged to use the force with YODA

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Organisers behind a database which links young people with training and employment opportunities have invited potential partners to join them in a project which could help more young people achieve positive outcomes upon leaving school.

The Youth Opportunities Database Aberdeenshire, or YODA for short, aims to promote local opportunities, support, training and employment for local youngsters. Around 20 young people helped set up the project, themselves gaining qualifications in the process.

Those behind the initiative hope that it will offer a chance for providers of these opportunities, such as private companies and voluntary organisations, to engage with local young people, as well as helping to fill any suitable job or work experience vacancies.

“As the database is relatively new, providers are encouraged to register their organisation on the site, enabling them to advertise their service at no cost”, said YODA co-ordinator Pamela Munro.

“They will also have complete control over their information on the database, with the added bonus of being able to edit it at any given time.

“They can also use their space to celebrate success of their particular project by adding photos and other information.

“If companies and organisations offer an experience or opportunity for young people then we hope they will register their information, share resources and maybe even offer joint programmes.”

Once a provider is registered they then become part of the YODA community where they can email other providers and share information, where appropriate. Changes to the database will also be made over the next few months to incorporate an employment opportunity section, where employers can advertise openings for young people such as jobs/apprenticeships/work experience/volunteer opportunities free of charge. A News/Events section will also be included, where providers can highlight new programmes and events, which will help young people to be able to see an events calendar at a glance.

“YODA is an opportunity for young people to be proactive about their future, using a local, friendly resource which is designed by young people for young people,” said Cllr Richard Stroud, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee.

“We hope it will raise awareness of opportunities and services for young people throughout the north-east, particularly services for young people who may need more choices and chances in life.”

Vice chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “It would be great if young people were able to reap the rewards of this work and increase their chances of a positive destination on leaving school and we hope local providers can be part of that.”

The YODA website can be viewed by visiting http://bit.ly/ocZExa