Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Oldham enterprise trust and Oldham opportunity area launch new initiative to help young people be more enterprising

Date published: 25 June 2021

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation has joined forces with Oldham Enterprise Trust, the Oldham Opportunity Area, local partners and business leaders in a new initiative to help young people from Oldham bolster their career opportunities through enterprise skills and entrepreneurship.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation and Oldham Enterprise Trust (OET) have teamed up with the Youth Enterprise Network Oldham (YENO) in this unique offer for the young people of the borough to build their skills, knowledge and access to local job opportunities, whilst unleashing their entrepreneurial talents.

The initiative will also support participants to gain crucial career know-how and guidance from those local business leaders and entrepreneurs who have already achieved success across Oldham and Greater Manchester.

Gary Stannett, CEO of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, said: "It is widely acknowledged that the economic impact of Covid-19 has disproportionately hit young people in terms of employment, wellbeing, career prospects and social mobility.

"Young people currently in education will need a job when they leave and with long-term unemployment increasing, many marginalised young people will be left at the back of the queue for jobs as the economy opens up.

"This partnership demonstrates a commitment by all partners to support young people in Oldham to access real career opportunities and rebuild the economy of the town.

"We at the Rio Ferdinand Foundation are proud to be extending our work in Oldham through this exciting programme."

Dave Benstead, Chair of Oldham Enterprise Trust, said: "Oldham Enterprise Trust (OET) is pleased to partner with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Oldham Opportunity Area and YENO to promote enterprise and employability with Oldham’s youth.

"For the last seven years we have championed enterprise awarding more than £1 million in start-up funding to local entrepreneurs who have created over 360 jobs.

"This support is needed more than ever given the present economic climate.

"Developing an enterprising spirit amongst Oldham’s young people, whether as enterprising employees or as entrepreneurs with their own businesses, will not only help themselves but the economy of the town."

Jim McMahon OBE, the MP for Oldham West and Royton, said: "Children and young people in Oldham have been hit hard and deep by the pandemic, so I’m really grateful to see that the Rio Ferdinand Foundation is coming up with innovative ways to improve the skills, knowledge and prospects of our young people.

"Oldham‘s young people have got bags of potential and I’m glad to see they’ve got RFF’s backing to help unleash that."

The programme will offer weekly sessions throughout this year, with opportunities for local businesses, education practitioners and members of the community to get involved.

If you want to support young people to tackle inequality and drive social change in your area, visit the website 'Support our work - Rio Ferdinand Foundation' here or contact the Programme Manager, Victoria Lowe, on 0161 743 3779.

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