Concerned that young jobseekers are negatively stereotyped, Toni McMillan wants employers to give others her age a fair chance.
The 19-year-old from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham says out-of-work young people shouldn’t be viewed as lost causes.
‘Not having a job can be quite a lonely experience,’ explains Toni.
‘The constant rejection makes you wonder if you’ll ever be given the opportunity.
‘I feel as if some employers think young people are a nuisance or a liability, but most of us just want a chance to prove what we can do.
‘Hopefully our campaign can change these misconceptions and show that not all young people are bad.’
Earlier this year, Toni and her group embarked on a voluntary project to create a sensory garden for a local disability charity.
Hoping it will show employers their willingness to work, they’ve also produced a film with Fixers, featuring the new allotment and interviews with the group.
Watch the group’s film ‘Growing Together’ at the top of this page.
‘We wanted to demonstrate that young people can do anything when they put their minds to it,' adds Toni.
‘Hopefully the film we’ve created will show others exactly what we’re capable of and that we can be trusted.’
Toni, who wants to work with disadvantaged young people in the future, plans to share the film on social media and also target local businesses.
She adds: ‘It’s crucial that employers treat young people as individuals above anything else.
‘We understand that the job market is competitive and we’re not looking for hand-outs by any means, just someone to believe in us.
‘Hopefully this project can go some way towards doing that.’
For more information and advice for jobseekers, visit the National Careers Service website.
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