What can co-ops do for young people in Wales?

A conference in Cardiff will look at how building a co-op country starts by addressing the challenges faced by youth

The Wales Co-operative Centre is organising a conference focused on co-operative solutions to address the challenges faced by young people in the country.

Taking place in Cardiff on Tuesday 26 June, and organised on behalf of the Mutuals Alliance, ‘Building A Co-operative Country’ will feature five workshops looking at housing, education, environment, employment and skills and wellbeing. They will examine how educational opportunities can help young people gain a better understanding of co-ops, how renewable energy and recycling projects are attracting young people, what employment opportunities co-ops can bring and how the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act can impact co-ops and young people.

One of the workshops will be delivered by Bron Afon’s Ty Cyfle, a housing co-op in South East Wales. The co-op helps young people in Garndiffaith to overcome significant challenges, provides them with essential life skills, and supports them in securing housing and getting on the property ladder.

Cardiff Council is also running a workshop at the conference. The organisation has worked to reduce youth unemployment through its ‘Cardiff Commitment’ programme, which aims to provide young people in Cardiff with the support, choices and opportunities required to make a successful transition from compulsory schooling to on-going education, training and the world of work, helping them to reach their full potential.

Another session will be delivered by the Co-operative Foundation, which supports organisations across the UK to run projects that help to increase the skills of young people and improve their employment prospects.

Marking Co-operatives Fortnight, the conference is aimed at young people already involved in the co-operative sector as well as those with an interest in the sector and co-ops or other organisations working with young people.

Keynote speakers include Huw Richards from Aberystwyth, whose YouTube channel focussing on on organic and sustainable farming attracted a strong fan base; Polly Robbins who works for tech co-op Outlandish, and Ieva Padagaite from Blake House Filmmakers Coop, who is also the outgoing UK representative on the Young European Co-operators Network.

Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre

Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre and member of the Mutuals Alliance, said: “Following the huge success of last year’s event at the Principality Stadium, we will once again be covering the big questions when it comes to how we grow and sustain the co-operative movement here in Wales. This year we will be focusing our event on the millennial generation and exploring a variety of ways in which co-ops and mutuals can support and empower young people to improve their lives. Two of the key issues we will be discussing will be housing and employment.”

Tickets for the event cost £25 and can be booked online here.

In this article

Join the Conversation