The MC4C programme was celebrated in The Guildhall yesterday.

Making Changes for Careers Programme celebrated

Hull City Council has celebrated seven years of the Making Changes for Careers Programme (MC4C), which in its current form will come to an end in October.

Since it was founded, it has supported over 400 young people and has attracted attention at national and international levels.

Hull City Council and partners held a celebration event on Monday 18th September in the Guildhall at which an invited audience was able to speak to past participants, including several aspiring young entrepreneurs and the MC4C Patron and former BBC Apprentice star Adam Corbally, who gave his thoughts about MC4C over the last seven years.

The audience included Liz Barclay, the Small Business Commissioner, leading members of the Micro Business Alliance and local business owners who have supported the programme to date.

During the event, Liz was announced as the new patron of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank, replacing Tony Robinson.

All participants on the programme have moved from Universal Credit to set up in business, into employment or a volunteer job and on their journey learnt about Big 13 Enterprise Skills.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme raised £112,000 from the council, local businesses, and individuals to support those young people who were part of the #ExcludedUK community, as well as recruiting 80 mentors from across the country.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr John Robinson, addresses the audience.

Cllr Paul Drake-Davis, portfolio holder regeneration and housing at Hull City Council, said: “The MC4C programme has proved to be a great success in supporting aspiring young entrepreneurs, as well as finding young people jobs and training opportunities over the last seven years.

“I enjoyed meeting the former participants who were promoting their businesses and look forward to seeing how MC4C does going forward.”

Courtney Exelby, former MC4C participant, said: “I honestly could not wait to attend the MC4C celebration event and see Charles and his team.

“Participating in MC4C was the best thing I ever did. It helped me become the best person I could be and, unbeknown at the time, it helped me realise what and who made me happy.

“Those Big 13 skills don’t just work for businesses they help for everyday life. MC4C really did get me out of one hell of a rut I was in and I couldn’t be more thankful.

“I just can’t believe it has to come to an end!”

Siblings and businesses owners Donna (Krystal Kleans Hull) and Deelan Tranmer-Nash (The Nerd Shop).

Judith Meza, founder of Everything Toastie, added: “I joined MC4C in 2020 when I first wanted to pursue the idea of setting up my business and the team helped me to develop that idea and supported me throughout my journey.

“Going through the business plan and cash flow was really useful because it showed me that the business was viable.

“I joined the MC4C team as a Youth Enterprise Champion and really enjoyed my role as I was involved in supporting other young people who were looking to set up in business.

“My own journey was not straight forward as I needed premises and funds, however seeing the young entrepreneurs enjoy what they are doing and thrive in their business gave me the motivation to keep going until I realise my goal of starting my own business.

“I feel grateful to not only have had the chance to work alongside such an amazing team, but also their investment in my business journey.”

The programme has been so successful that the council has decided to expand the Youth Enterprise and Micro Business Team, despite the European funding ceasing this year to create a team of seven.

And from October, the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund will enable the Council to further expand its service to include two Young People’s Youth Enterprise Champions, both of whom – Rebecca McCoid and Alex Costin – are former MC4C participants. 

Their role will be to raise the profile of enterprise amongst young people in the City’s various diverse communities and to establish a Test Market Grant Fund for aspiring young entrepreneurs, managed by the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank.

Mark Jones MBE, pictured in 2018
The IPaSS logo