Lessons learned from things that went wrong in the past when a partner organisation led a youth market event, have taught the team at Leicester about the importance of joined up vision and legacy when working in partnership with local community organisations. Adam Piotrowski, Development Officer, talks about some of the latest strands of activity which focus on younger customers and youth enterprise.
“We have built a New Market Square which opened partially in June 2017 – currently work is taking place on the back of the Corn Exchange building which backs onto the space. Once this is finished we will have a screen wall, onto which we can project films, concerts, sporting events and other multi-media. This will open a new activity space as there is a limit to the sort of events we can stage outside in the square now to attract younger visitors.
“We have had initial discussions with the Peter Jones Academy, an entrepreneurship programme at Leicester College and De Montfort University which runs vocational study programmes with a view to running a monthly youth market. There is scope to broaden who we will be working with including organisations such as the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council owned business and creative hubs throughout the city.
“Our main partnership has been through the City Council’s LASALS (Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Services) to provide a course for people who want to be market traders. In 2017, people were referred or recruited on to the course through the Job Centre or Princes Trust. The course itself was led by an enthusiastic instructor who has a strong business background and managed to engage with people from a variety of different backgrounds and age groups.
“The course was modular, split over 5 weeks, 3 days a week with a mixture of classroom work and market experience giving participants the opportunity to test their skills, using donated goods to get trading experience behind the stalls.
“The response was positive with all 12 of the individuals who started on the course completing. LASALS wrote about 85% of the course content including information on taxes, entrepreneurship, customer service, merchandising etc. and I presented market specific information such as rules and regulations as well as the long-term vision for our market.
“We still have two traders on the market who completed the course and they have joined together as a cooperative trading from a unit. We intend to roll out this course on a regular basis with the next one starting once the next leg of market refurbishment is complete.
"We’ve also worked with LECB, a local charity that provide projects for young people. As part of their scheme, we regularly host visits of about 20-30 young people in a programme that included lessons about banking, loans, finance etc and they took part in exercises around starting their own business."
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