Helping Young People Through a Community Business Partnership

Working 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


    Mentoring sees a business increase the skills and knowledge of an individual.
    • 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.

    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.

    Scholarships and Awards:

    Scholarships and Awards can again be specifically targeted at young people in the community.
    • 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.)

    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".
    • 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.


    Using volunteering as a partnership model can be a good way for young people to be involved on a group basis.
    • 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

    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.
    • 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.


    Sponsorship is another good way to support young people through a partnership, and would be predominantly aimed at groups or teams.
    • 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.

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.