The number of young people claiming unemployment related benefits increased by 49% during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Youth unemployment is often due to a lack of opportunities and accessibility of good education,” according to Elevate Value Founder Valerie Chopamba.
Her own experience of looking for employment during her placement year at university left her feeling frustrated: “I had to go the extra mile to discover the opportunities I wanted for my future and how to get there. I wanted to improve my personal development in order to get my dream job, but I didn’t know what routes I needed to take.”
After her initial research showed that many of her peers were experiencing the same challenge, she joined the Ingenuity Programme in 2020, determined to create a solution.
“I decided to take part in the Ingenuity Programme which proved a real steppingstone for my business. I gained so much insight through the mentoring, in both business operations and how to work alongside young people.”
She came in third place for the West of England Champion prize for her Elevate Value business plan, alongside receiving a 12-month mentorship with the Youth Futures Foundation.
Elevate Value aims to reduce youth unemployment by supporting young people to gain the personal skills, work experience, and qualifications needed to enter their chosen career. Through personal development workshops, work experience opportunities, and interview and employment support, Valerie hopes to bridge the gap between young people and employers.
She is now working to launch the business online in 2022!