Helping Young People Through a Community Business PartnershipWorking with young people is a great way to involve members of the public in a community business partnership.
Of the partnership models available, some are more suited to working with young people than others.
Partnership Models to Consider
- For example, a young person who is a member of a community group, or has been selected by a community group, could receive mentoring on a topic that will prove useful to a later career move, or to developing a skill needed by that young person.
Mentoring:Mentoring sees a business increase the skills and knowledge of an individual.
- There are plenty of programs and incentives that are available for businesses that wish to do this as well. For more information on them, refer to the help sheet Partnerships and Employment for Young People (with help from Centrelink), available from the Partnerships Resource Centre at the Our Community website.
Employment/Work experience:Offering a young person work experience, on-the-job experience, or pathways to employment like apprenticeships, training or traineeships, is a constructive and beneficial way to involve young people in a partnership.
- For example, a business could work with a community group to create a Young Leaders or Young Achievers Award for a young person in a certain field (or in a number of fields).
- Similarly, a scholarship or scholarship program geared towards young people would provide a mutually beneficial partnership to the business involved (who could sponsor it in return for naming rights), the community organisation (who can organise, co-ordinate and help judge it – along with the business) and of course the community as a whole (which sees successful young people recognised and rewarded.)
Scholarships and Awards:Scholarships and Awards can again be specifically targeted at young people in the community.
- However, it is possible that a business working with a community organisation that works with young people could use this model to benefit and involve a number of young people at the same time.
Skills and Knowledge Sharing:Skills and Knowledge Sharing is a partnership model aimed more at benefiting community groups rather than individuals – mentoring is more an "individual situation".
- A community organisation working with young people can organise them to do volunteering as a group as part of a partnership, or on an individual basis with a number of groups or organisations
Volunteering:Using volunteering as a partnership model can be a good way for young people to be involved on a group basis.
- Examples could range from offering an underage sports team equipment as part of a partnership arrangement, or even providing or driving the "team bus" to and from events.
In Kind Support:While it may or may not directly involve young people, offering in-kind support is another partnership model that can help them.
- The obvious example of a sponsorship arrangement is to have a business sponsor a junior sporting club – or, more generally, any type of junior club – as part of a partnership.
Sponsorship:Sponsorship is another good way to support young people through a partnership, and would be predominantly aimed at groups or teams.
Steps to Helping Young People Through a Partnership
- Firstly, make sure you can actually do so genuinely and with a fair degree of success. This probably means that working with young people is: something that your business or community organisation has done previously, or does currently, as part of its core operations; or that your organisation has a resource specifically useful to young people (such as training facilities).
- Consider what sort of partnership model might help you do that. In doing so, follow the golden rules - gauge what you have to offer, and what you would like to receive in return.
- Then choose a business or community organisation which seems a good fit for your aims and needs, as well as its ability to help you help young people. This may mean discussion among staff, committees or group members.
- Finally, make your approach. Refer to the help sheets Approaching a Business for a Partnership, Following Up Your Approach to a Business, Approaching a Community Group for a Partnership and Following Up Your Approach to a Community Group for more information on how to put together a partnership approach.
Information on many of the individual partnership models is contained in help sheets at the resource centre, in the Before You Get Started in a Partnership and General Partnership Resources sections. Refer to them for further information.