Somerset Rural Youth Project (SRYP) | Micro Business Masterclass | Somerset & Devon

About SRYP

Somerset Rural Youth Project (SRYP) is a charity predominantly working with young people, their small team engage with a large number of clients and offer a diverse programme of informal education programmes. Their open access youth work includes National Citizenship Service, social action, mental health work support and skills and development projects such as the Youth Music Project. Their flag ship programme is the Rural Skills Green Activity Programme (GAP) which has received countrywide recognition as a fantastic model for the engagement and progression of young people.

SRYP currently has 25 members of staff, 12 on a full-time basis and the remaining on a part-time or voluntary basis. SRYP small team contains a diverse range of job roles from administration to management and educational to youth work and this breadth of skills requires a similarly diverse range of training needs.

Business Masterclass

Nik & Steve from SRYP attended the learndirect Business Masterclass in Plymouth in late January, led by Caroline Newns, an independent business growth consultant.  Nik and Steve were able to share information about the uniqueness of the organisation with a diverse group of professionals, all identifying and sharing different challenges and pressures of running a business in Devon and Somerset. Caroline was able to draw comparisons across the diverse range of attendees and identify areas of business that might have been overlooked previously, as well as focusing on business areas to prioritise.

Nik and Steve believe the Master Class has provided them with a stepping stone to begin further collaborations with organisations and enabled SRYP to identify opportunities to up-skill current and future staff.

Business Growth at SYRP

SYRP have aspirations to grow services over the next 4 years by optimising their current assets and skills as well as filling their skills gaps. To be able to sustain their current level of engagement both Nik and Steve recognise the challenges of recruiting people with the right skill set, especially in a rural location where potential employee numbers are lower.

Since attending the Masterclass SYRP have put the recommended processes in place to identify and fill their skills gaps. They have recognised that the areas required for the organisations future development include; computer literacy, leadership skills, and social media.


 “To be able to fill the skills gaps required to deliver the projects it is imperative that staff are grown within the organisation. It is the role of the management team to recognise existing skill sets as well as identifying and filling any skill gaps. This will help to build a strong team that can react to changing contracts and local demands.”

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