The Coalfields Regeneration Trust – Young Upstarts programme

Creating the next generation of entrepreneurs

If you’re unemployed for more than 12 months when you’re young, you have a high probability of a lifetime of unemployment or under-employment.In 2015, there were over 16,50018 to 24 year olds in the West and South Yorkshire who are long-term unemployed.

As part of our strategy to support young people in former mining communities, we awarded a grant of £134,892 to the Young Upstarts programme. It provides training and hands-on support for young people in Yorkshire who want to start their own business or test out a business idea.

Participants work towards a qualification, and get practical and financial support. Once they have a feasible business plan, they’re offered support from start-up through to the first stages of trading, and then ongoing advice to help the business become sustainable.

The programme is run by The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Youth Association, and recruits young people through colleges, job centres and other networks.

  • 37 ‘Young Upstarts’ were trading as a business by the end of the project – enterprises included hair and beauty, photography, and creative media.
  • 1,803 young people took part in workshops and 3,600 in outreach programmes.
  • 75% of participants felt their aspirations had improved in a positive way and 78% said that they had an increase in resilience and motivation as a result of the programme.

Making self employment a realistic ambition

“At a time when the last mine is closing in Yorkshire, it’s vital that everyone is reminded that the challenge for local young people to find work and develop the economy in the former Yorkshire coalfields is as pressing as ever,” says Andy Clow, CEO, the Youth Association. “Kusuma Trust’s support for our Young Upstarts programme is at the forefront of the work to raise young people’s aspirations and to grow young entrepreneurs”

All the training has been developed so that it can be used with young people who have very low literacy and numeracy skills. The programme also refers participants to relevant free support through local colleges if they need it.

“Young Upstarts helped me with my business plan and gave me the business skills I needed to choose the route to make it possible.”
Kristi Arabskyj, who set up a beauty salon in Penistone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

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