10 tips for working with young people not in education, training or employment (NEET)

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We have been working with young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) for many years now and have just completed delivery of our second film production training course for The Prince’s Trust.

Here are our top 10 tips for working with this group:

1. Set an informal contract at the beginning of the work. This will include timetables and time-keeping, behaviour and language. This is worked out in partnership so that everyone is on board.

2. Create a clear beginning, middle and end so there is a complete creative process. Ensure that this process does not last too long so that concentration levels are maintained and participants remain committed.

3. Give the participants creative control, facilitate their learning and do not take over. You should not be holding the camera and you should be the one editing!

4. Focus on the process and not the end product, if the participants enjoy the process, are learning and feel in control they will ensure that the end product is good.

5. Allow people to learning from their mistakes.

6. Ensure that there are clear learning outcomes at the end of each session, for people with low levels of concentration this will ensure that they come back for the next session.

7. Understand that some people will flourish and others will take time. Make sure that there are enough tasks to keep everyone involved and that the strongest one in the group has not taken over.

8. Be encouraging, if people are not confident one negative comment can make them disconnect from the process.

9. Be yourself, people want authenticity, they want to trust you and to feel that you can connect with them. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what you look like, I have found that young people are much more accepting and open than adults. If you can teach them something that they want to learn, then they will listen.

10. Celebrate their work, with a certificate, screening or event at the end of the process.

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