Youth Employment Support Programme

The Youth Employment Support Programme (YESP) was officially launched on February 11th 2022, with the scope of providing supported employment to youths (defined as being aged 16 to 35 years) who had some type of disadvantage which limited their access to employment. For the purposes of YESP, what constitutes as a disadvantage may vary greatly and includes issues such as extreme poverty, mental illness and out-of-home care.

Purpose of YESP

One of the first objectives of YESP is to develop soft skills which jobseekers lack, which would be related to facilitating their access to employment. Some examples of relevant soft-skills are job market awareness, CV writing, and interview skills. However, due to the nature of the difficulties faced by this population, other soft skills such as time management and developing a sense of commitment are of immense importance.

Furthermore, the ultimate objective of YESP is to guide jobseekers to be able to find and maintain employment in which they feel a sense of satisfaction. Therefore, the process of following a jobseeker continues even after employment is acquired. This is executed by regular checking-in with both the youth and the employer, and where possible this includes also on-the-job support.

The aim of YESP is to offer employment support to youths from a disadvantaged background, in order to help them find and maintain suitable paid employment.

For the purposes of this programme, ‘disadvantaged youths’ refers to individuals aged 16-35 who need or have recently needed a considerable amount of support from other institutions dealing with mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, extreme poverty, and similar social issues.

Throughout the process, an assessment of the youths’ barriers to employment whilst supporting and empowering them to manage and/or overcome those limitations. The programme provides a range of services and support to help young people develop the skills and experience they need to secure and maintain employment, including career guidance, job market awareness, help in CV / job profile creation, training and skills development, job matching and placement, and on the job coaching / support.

The methodology of a Supported Employment approach is used with the 5-stage approach as the structure of the process adopted by YESP:

  • Client Engagement – referral process and initial meetings with the potential job seeker
  • Vocational Profile – assess the strengths/weaknesses and job seeker’s preferences
  • Job Finding – identifying suitable employers
  • Employer Negotiations – discussing and liaising with employers
  • On/Off the Job Support – provide support at work to both YESP clients and employers

Meet the Team

Kayleigh Fiott

Kayleigh Fiott

Project Coordinator YESP



Working with jobseekers
YESP has been accepting clients since April 2022. During this period, YESP has received 41 referrals. Below one can find the different source of referrals.

  • 8 referrals directly through Her Excellency
  • 2 referrals through social media
  • 1 referral through email
  • 4 referrals through YMCA
  • 15 referrals from CYPS
  • 2 referrals from YOURS
  • 2 referrals from St Theresa College
  • 2 referrals from Richmond Foundation
  • 1 referral from Millenium Chapel
  • 1 referral during Soup Kitchen visit
  • 3 referrals from Conservatorio Vincenzo Bugeja

Out of the 41 referrals that YESP has received there have been some withdrawals, the reasons for which can be found outlined below:

Reasons for withdrawal

Job seeker amount

Referral sources



Being helped by another entity / organization



Found a job on their own and decided they didn’t need YESP support


Millennium Chapel, MCH, CYPS, Generic email, Soup kitchen

Issues that have more priority and need to be addressed before seeking support from YESP



Continuing education



No reply on way forward



Most of the persons contacting YESP would have probably been in contact with other services, social workers, youth workers and other professionals who may have tried to support them in finding employment in the past, but have similarly failed. It is quite likely that many of these people would have complex situations, personality issues, mental health or health issues, lack of qualifications, cognitive difficulties, or at times very unrealistic expectations when it comes to finding employment. Some may find the daily challenges of commuting, punctuality, commitment or communication with people very difficult. Often even attending an interview or keeping adequate contact with a service that is there to support them is a challenge in itself.

Mental health disorders and lack of education were the primary disadvantages concerning the 17 jobseekers who attended at least one YESP meeting.​ Below one can find a subdivided list of types of disadvantages and the number of clients per disadvantage:

Type of disadvantage




Mental health disorders


Learning disability and intellectual disability


Physical disability and mobility issues


Criminal record


Lack of education


Out-of home care


Social skills deficits


Substance abuse


Note – Most jobseekers had more than one disadvantage

Outcomes achieved through YESP can be categorised as being related to:

Job-related opportunities

Some opportunities such as interviews and employment are directly related to the aim of acquiring employment, while some opportunities are indirectly linked. For instance, some jobseekers were referred to Blue Door Education to start attending free English lessons.

Development of skills

Similarly, some skills are directly related to employment, such as CV making and interview skills. On the other hand, some are indirectly relevant, such as time management skills, a sense of responsibility and reality-testing.


This included increasing motivation to work and study and guidance in decision-making. The aim of focusing on such outcomes was also to foster a sense of independence which could contribute towards self-esteem.

Skills achieved through YESP

CV-making skills

This was achieved by 12 out of 22 jobseekers – around 55%. 17 jobseekers continued to attend appointments after the initial meeting, in which case around 71% worked on their CV-making skills.
In some cases, jobseekers already had a completed CV they were satisfied with. For others, feedback was provided on how to improve their CV. For most jobseekers, there was the need to support them in writing a new CV. The aim was not only to provide jobseekers with a tangible tool for increasing their employability, but also to increase their ability to write and edit a CV as may be needed at a later point in their lives.
One jobseeker was looking for a high skilled job, and so he was also encouraged to obtain letters of reference, and to develop an online portfolio of his work which was suggested by a professional in his field who was contacted by YESP.

Interview skills

These skills were enhanced by 6 out of 22 jobseekers – around 27%. Out of the 17 jobseekers who continued to attend appointments after the initial meeting, around 35% worked on their interview skills.
In all cases where interview skills were determined to be a priority, jobseekers started off at a loss at what to respond. After a lot of feedback, and most often multiple mock interviews, there was a noticeable improvement in the jobseekers’ confidence, as well as the relevance and detail provided for interview questions.

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Soft skills

The most prevalent were:

This was addressed with 6 of the jobseekers – around 35% of those who attended more than one meeting with YESP.

Sense of responsibility
This was developed by 4 of the jobseekers – around 24% of those who attended more than one meeting with YESP.
For example, a sense of responsibility was a crucial objective in the case of one jobseeker who had not retained employment in the past due to a refusal to do tasks he disliked. Since it emerged that this was a pattern in his life, his sense of responsibility was developed through small tasks such as cleaning his pets’ bowls once a day and waking up at least half an hour earlier.
This was obtained by 8 of the jobseekers – around 47% of those who attended more than one meeting with YESP.
Jobseekers were encouraged to make their own decisions but were guided accordingly. For instance, some jobseekers were at a loss on which jobs to pursue, or else would have something specific in mind but would be unclear on the routes they must take to be able to achieve that job role. On one occasion, a jobseeker prompted discussions on whether they should commit to a job opportunity provided by YESP.
A sense of motivation to further education and/or work

This was improved by 5 of the jobseekers – around 29% of those who attended more than one meeting with YESP.

Other relevant soft skills which were developed were:

  • Time management skills – Some jobseekers would initially arrive for their appointments significantly late, and this was addressed, and improvement was observed over time.
  • Reality-testing – In this context, reality-testing refers to the skill of being able to identify which jobs, courses, and salary are achievable in the short-term considering the level of education and experience. This was also related to encouraging some degree of flexibility such as concerning the location of the job. In some cases, there was the initial insistence of looking for a job which was within walking-distance to their home.
  • A sense of professionalism – This is related to skills of dealing with disputes in workplace in a way which does not disrespect colleagues, and it is also related to online presence. For instance, it was observed that some jobseekers used a very informal nickname in their email, or else a very casual photo on their Linked-in profile.

Support in acquiring education

4 jobseekers – that is, around 24% of those who attended more than one meeting with YESP – were directly supported to:

  • Register for free English lessons with Blue Door Education, with the intent of increasing their prospects of employment, and/or
  • Enrol in a course that is essential for the job role they wanted.

Apart from this, other jobseekers were encouraged to further their studies, or to continue placing the necessary effort in a course which they had already applied for or started

Interview opportunities

8 jobseekers– that is, around 47% of those who attended more than one meeting with YESP –  were provided with an opportunity for an interview. Out of these 8, some decided not to attend due to the various challenges mentioned surrounding the jobseekers’ disadvantages. One jobseeker attended 5 interviews with 5 different companies.

When needed, an employment support worker accompanied jobseekers to their interview. However, jobseekers were largely encouraged to attend by themselves.

Employment opportunities

To date, 3 jobseekers were provided with an employment opportunity which was facilitated by YESP. Unfortunately, 1 jobseeker could not accept the opportunity due to mental illness during the period following the interview. The other young persons maintained their employment to date, and they were provided with ongoing assistance by YESP including on-the-job support. Moreover, another jobseeker secured employment which was facilitated by his social worker, with whom YESP cooperated with in preparation for his employment. YESP is also monitoring progress and assisting this jobseeker as required.

After jobseekers obtained employment through YESP, regular contact was kept with both the youth and the employer, and this is particularly crucial in the first few weeks.

Reaching out to other entities

In the case of around 18% of those who attend more than one YESP meeting – relevant entities were contacted due to a lack in basic needs. For instance, The Millenium Chapel and Foodbank were contacted for food for one jobseeker, and she was also connected with a social worker who started the process of registering her with the Housing Authority.
Sometimes, other professionals would be contacted when this was deemed crucial for the jobseeker’s wellbeing. For instance, one jobseeker became homeless following our initial meeting, and his team of social workers were subsequently alerted and then modified their care plan accordingly. For one jobseeker, contact was made with his psychotherapist following feedback from his previous employer that the jobseeker had felt uncomfortable when water spills on his hand, which had caused some difficulty in his work. Following this communication, exposure therapy was introduced by his psychotherapist. This approach seeks to help the individual become more comfortable with a sensation that is registered as unpleasant.
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