Will.i.am funded project up for award

The Black Eyed Peas frontman funds one of the projects.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman funds one of the projects.

FOUR Glasgow youth projects and workers have been shortlisted for the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards.

The Awards, run by YouthLink Scotland, recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement with young people by managers, peer educators, teams and individuals who work within Scotland’s youth work sector.

All the projects nominated from Glasgow have a strong emphasis on getting young people into work. Making it MAKLab’, is a truly innovative programme where young people can get involved in laser cutting, 3D printing, electronics and design software. The Princes Trust joined forces with MAKLab and Coderdojo Scotland to deliver these new exciting STEM workshops. It is a three stage programme which helps young people in Glasgow to develop vital skills for a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

MAKLab is funded by Will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman, who is keen to help transform the lives of disadvantaged young people. This pilot programme has resulted in some innovative business ideas including a glove-based Bluetooth speaker and a robot designed to help people with dementia recover lost items. Shona Morrison of the Princes Trust who nominated the project for an Innovative Team award said:

“These workshops give young people a lasting sense of what can be achieved in a short space of time as well as the tools and confidence to think creatively about their futures and take their ideas forward.”

Putting a business head on young shoulders has also resulted in Michelle Doherty of the Youth Enterprise Zone being nominated for her partnership approach to getting young people into work.

The Youth Enterprise Zone, part of Jobs and Business Glasgow, was set up to help young people not in education or training to learn about the world of work by seeing how business works and encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship. The project centres around a six week programme ‘Connect with Enterprise’ which gives the chance to engage with those who are running their own business. 75% of those young people who go through the programme go onto work or further education, statistics that well exceed the national average. Johnny Walker, Trainer with Youth Enterprise Zone described her approach as “positive nagging” and said her work was inspiring:

“She believes there is no place for poverty of expectation or ambition, the biggest compliment I can pay her is that she makes me want to be a better person.”