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Youth Unemployment: Addressing Real Needs through Social Enterprise
Katie Rose Tyrrell, Emma Bond, Cristian Dogaru, Mark Manning

Last modified: 2017-10-25

Abstract


The purpose of this paper is to present a discussion upon the value of youth employment. The focus is placed specifically upon the findings of a study investigating the effectiveness and impact of a social enterprise community café within the east of England. Social enterprise cafés are proving to be positive ways of engaging young people in employment opportunities, increasing wellbeing and community cohesion within the most deprived areas of the country. High levels of deprivation and unemployment across particular districts in Suffolk mean young people within these areas are not fulfilling their life potential. Thus exploring the impact of a newly formed self-sustaining community café invested in engaging young people within Suffolk is of particular interest. A mixed methods approach was implemented, adopting both qualitative and quantitative methods. Quantitative analysis of customer surveys in addition to one-to-one semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and young people were utilised. The qualitative data suggests that young people felt pride and gratitude when discussing their experience and the opportunities offered to them. Stakeholder interviews also reveal an enthusiasm regarding the unique support available for young people typically presenting with complex needs and tainted aspirations. Data from customer satisfaction surveys suggest that the majority of the public describe the café environment, food and drink as excellent in quality. The results provide insight into the value and potential for self-sustaining social enterprises to improve youth employment, and subsequent quality of life, within areas of high deprivation.


Keywords


Youth; Employment; Social Enterprise

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