Support for Westlake’s unemployed youth

The Kick-Start Project members completed their first job-readiness programme, the Job Journey, on Friday June 30. Photograph: Supplied

A new support group in Westlake Village is helping young people there find jobs, internships, training and volunteer work.

Unemployment can have a depressing impact on the youth, says George Smith, a community worker for the Westlake United Church Trust, which is behind the Kick-Start Project.

Mr Smith started a WhatsApp group to publicise work opportunities for young people in the area.

“Kick-Start Project was started in April to reach our young adults and to keep them abreast of what is happening at WUCT, what we are doing and how they can get involved.”

Programmes run by the project, or other organisation, will include basic life skills, community projects, networking, volunteering and other related initiatives. Each programme is run by professionals from various organisations.

“Our aim is to provide a safe space for our young adults of the Westlake Village to sharpen, develop skills and offer training for personal growth and, most importantly, to reach their needs,” Mr Smith said

Members of the WhatsApp group can share suggestions and ideas in support of each other

“It has become a support group. From next month, we will be running formal meetings, every Thursday at the Commando Hall,” said Mr Smith.

Since April, more than 30 young adults have joined the WhatsApp group, and 12 group members have completed their first programme, the Job Journey, an 11-day course helping participants to become work ready.

Job Journey is a free course run by Fincoach Foundation director Pam Sneddon and training facilitator Xolile Makutoana.

“The benefits of doing the course include gaining a clear understanding of oneself, the improved ability to speak English with confidence and courage, an understanding of the workplace and the importance of having the right attitude, understanding how technology can help in your career and an increased confidence and hope for a brighter future,” Ms Sneddon said.

“Participants complete the course with tangible tools to use in their future including interview skills, a complete and usable online CV, a complete cover letter to accompany their CV and an action plan for a job search.”

Visit: for more information about the course or George Smith at 076 888 3862 to join the Kick-Start Project.

Creating and completing a usable online CV was one of the tasks completed by participants of the Job Journey programme. Photograph: Supplied.