Two groups in Dover and Deal had the chance to showcase their youth unemployment work to Labour’s newly appointed Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, on Monday 21st October.
The Astor Theatre has recently launched an apprentice scheme to help young people who are out of work, while the Skillnet Group trains and supports people, with and without learning disabilities, who want to find a job.
Both groups run radio stations and so Clair Hawkins, Labour's General Election Candidate in Dover and Deal, took Rachel on a tour of the studios and arranged for her to have a crash course in broadcast journalism.
Clair said: "The Astor Theatre has set up a great apprenticeship programme with opportunities in Technical Theatre, Community Arts Management and Radio Broadcasting and it was fantastic to hear from young people turning their lives around and making the most of this chance to develop their confidence, skills and careers.
“James Tillit and The Astor Theatre are looking to the future and investing a great deal in local young people and I hope more businesses and employers do the same.
"It was also great to speak with members of SkillNet group to talk about their experiences of employment and what is needed to help people with disabilities gain and remain in appropriate work.
“It was interesting to hear suggestions that included making sure employers have a good understanding of disabilities and the need for more supported employment.
"It is so important that the voices of people with disabilities are heard in debates about work and welfare and I'm delighted that Rachel Reeves came to Dover & Deal to listen to local people."
After the visit the apprentices at the Astor Theatre said it had been good to meet politicians who were interested in what they were doing.
James Tillet, the Artistic Director, said: “It was good to meet Rachel and to have this apprenticeship programme recognised for the changes it is making to the lives of these young people.”
If you have any views about youth unemployment and apprentices, please contact Clair via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org