Established in 1999 by the United Nations (UN), Sunday 12th August was International Youth Day 2018. Occurring annually, it raises issues relating to young people and celebrates successes of people aged 10 to 24 around the world.
This year’s theme, ‘Safe Spaces for Youth’, places emphasis on providing young people safe areas where they can engage in activities to meet their needs and interests. It focusses on allowing young people the opportunity to express themselves, promoting self-worth and confidence.
— UNYouth (@UN4Youth) August 12, 2018
As cliché as it sounds, young people truly are the future and we pride ourselves on developing the next generation. In honour of this important day, we are reflecting on the various opportunities for young people in our local area and the ways they can grow individually.
We offer a range of placements and internships open to anyone who is passionate about tech. Students can join us for eight weeks for the summer placement or for one year as part of the industrial placement scheme at university.
In addition to this, many young people from our local community join us for shorter work experience placements. They can join any of our departments including software development, marketing, administration and systems. During this time, they gain valuable knowledge and experience of the working world whilst being treated like a full-time employee.
Every week, our staff dedicate their own time to mentoring young people at local code club. This is a free, weekly after-school drop in for young people aged 9+ who are interested in learning how to code. It is held at Hack Oldham, ran by volunteers and supported by our Mentors. Code clubs form part of the wider CoderDojo programme. Alongside this, many of our volunteers attend local primary schools and deliver after-school coding sessions to the children and young people who attend.
The code clubs are designed for anyone; whether you have a passion for coding and require the knowledge for your future career or if you simply want to develop your hobbies and interests. These regular code clubs provide young people the opportunity to build on their passions and interests. It provides them with the safe space to grow, learn and develop with other like-minded young people.
As well as Hack Oldham, there are also a range of safe spaces for young people in Oldham, Mahdlo being one of them. Mahdlo (Oldham spelt backwards) is a local charity and youth zone in the centre of Oldham town centre. It opens its doors to the young people of Oldham and gives them the opportunities to support young people to be the best version of themselves.
The work they offer splits up into six main categories; sports, arts, personal development, environmental activities, leadership and employment. We work closely with Mahdlo and support they work they do.
If you’re an avid reader of our blog, then you will be aware that we have been involved with Hack Manchester for several years. This year we are the headline sponsor for Hack Junior; an event aimed at 8 to 18-year olds who want to develop their coding skills. The young people involved are set challenges from local companies and organisations and are encouraged to bring their creative ideas to real life. This is taking place in October half term and held at The Museum of Science and Industry. There are also weekly Youth Hacks aimed at 13-18-year olds where they can gain confidence in coding, whilst making new friends and learning from experienced mentors.
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has a wide programme of activities and groups for young people to attend. They are the local Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ambassador hub and work closely alongside education and employment provisions to develop opportunities for young people across the borough.
MOSI offer a range of interactive shows, workshops and other learning activities designed for children of all ages. These range from demonstrations of how to use engines, how to create explosions and how to create a circuit. The sessions are highly interactive and focus on young people learning whilst doing. You can check out the range of programmes on the MOSI website.
Oldham is clearly thriving in the opportunities offered to young people. We are always keen to develop the next generation and enjoy playing an active role in their flourishing future