Applications are now open for The Diocese of London’s Children and Youth Apprenticeship Scheme 2021. The scheme aims to fuel new mission activity among young people in parishes across the diocese, and raise up a new generation of youth workers from within its communities. In September 2021, the diocese is looking to recruit four new apprentices to start their journey, with the support of Benefact Trust funding.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the lives of young people; public funding for youth services has been cut and young people are becoming increasingly affected by the rise in violent crime – finding that the world around them is changing dramatically.
Many are not equipped to deal with the consequences of long-term isolation, loneliness, mental health issues, and other issues at home including poverty and domestic violence. The need for more youth support is increasing, but there is a shortage of youth leaders in London and many churches struggle to recruit high quality youth workers.
The Apprenticeship Scheme was launched in 2015, to work alongside parishes across the Diocese of London as they look to reach more children and young people and support them through the challenges of life. The scheme helps to develop local young leaders to work within parishes for three years, and build churches’ confidence to continue this work.
The Children and Youth Apprentices get the opportunity to study Theology, Ministry and Mission at Ridley London; get paid the London Living Wage; and gain valuable experience of parish ministry with young people.
Heather graduated from the Apprenticeship scheme in 2020, after 3 years working and learning in the Parish of Barnsbury with a focus on children’s ministry. Having graduated, she has stayed on as children’s pastor at the church, continuing to support and connect with families. Here’s what she shared about her time on the scheme.
“Being a part of the apprenticeship helped me to grow in confidence and also developed my personal faith. I had many different opportunities as part of my work in Barnsbury, these included developing the Sunday groups for children, regularly leading collective worship and clubs in local schools and helping with the monthly inter-church youth gathering. Through these I have been encouraged to go outside my comfort zone and try things I might not have before.”
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the newest cohort of apprentices as they develop as youth workers and gain new found confidence and leadership skills. Not only is this a great opportunity for the apprentices, but their work over the next three years will help many young people in the Diocese of London.”