Fifty young people from under-represented communities across Greater Manchester are this week embarking on a new six-month programme run by University Academy 92 (UA92) which will raise aspirations and enhance skills.
Young people aged 16-18 from areas including Moss Side, Hulme, Rusholme, Gorton, Beswick, Trafford, Oldham, Warrington and Jersey will attend weekly interactive sessions at UA92 to boost their business, media, digital and sport skills.
UA92 is a higher education institution committed to making higher education accessible to all. It is set to launch its ‘UA92 Youth’ programme on Thursday (March 30).
The community engagement team at UA92 has been working with several community groups to identify and target young people living in postcodes where numbers of people entering higher education are currently significantly lower than average.
Youth groups including Keeping Youth Work Alive, Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Hideout, Hideaway, KYSO, Street League and Football Beyond Borders have secured places on the UA92 Youth programme for young people accessing their services.
These groups will also be able to utilise UA92 facilities, including the £2m digital academy which opened last year, and contact the academic team; something that community groups often need but find hard to resource.
Isobelle Panton, director of student recruitment and international at UA92, said: “Our UA92 Youth programme will create new experiences for those who are likely to be first in their family to go to university, helping to raise aspirations and enhance skills for them to ultimately progress onto securing rewarding careers.
“We have been working closely with multiple youth organisations for the last couple of years to build trust with our communities so that together we can help young people pursue their potential through education.
“Another vital part of this programme is our focus on contributing to the Greater Manchester community by opening our facilities to even more people and creating connections with our industry partners.”
The UA92 Youth programme will include a Dragon’s Den style initiative, where young people will be tasked with finding a gap in the market and building their business plans alongside UA92’s academics.
In other modules they will up-skill in many areas including coding, podcasting and sports nutrition planning. Businesses including KPMG and TalkTalk have provided funding for the programme.
UA92’s community programme, which has been ongoing for two years, will also continue. This sees the UA92 team attend youth groups regularly, offering support with CV/cover letter writing, career mapping and university application advice. A football in the community project, which involves sessions with FA qualified coaches from UA92 as well as UA92 students, is also underway.
Isobelle added: “We are always striving to achieve higher levels of engagement with all areas of Greater Manchester and are currently planning innovative ways to reach out to other under-represented areas of the regional community by working alongside local councils, poverty groups, asylum seekers, boxing clubs, football clubs and even barbershops.
“At UA92, we are ambitious to be a driver for positive change to give young people more opportunities, whether it’s at UA92 or elsewhere.”
Based in Old Trafford, Manchester, UA92 is committed to making higher education accessible to all no matter the background, through its founding principles of accessibility, social mobility and inclusivity.
UA92 offers a portfolio of degree and higher education courses across business, sport, media and digital disciplines, preparing students for the world of work by offering industry-led courses. It gives students a clear route into industry by opening the door to leading businesses.
Working in partnership with leading industry names including Microsoft, TalkTalk, KPMG and Manchester United, students benefit from mentors, guest lectures and work experience opportunities, in addition to character and personal development guidance, and financial support beyond traditional scholarships and government loans.