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Sleaford teenager in TV bid to tackle unemployment

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: July 12, 2011

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TAKING TO THE AIRWAVES: Joseph Hayat, 18, of Sleaford, has been signed up to take part in a Channel 4 production called Battlefront. Picture: Rich Linley.

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A TEENAGE entrepreneur who runs an airline company and has lobbied parliament is launching a new campaign aimed at unemployed youngsters.

Joseph Hayat, 18, of Sleaford, has been signed up to take part in a Channel 4 production called Battlefront, an online project which encourages young people to engage with the serious issues that matter to them.

Joseph's campaign, called Ready for Work, aims to tackle youth unemployment across the UK. He was asked to take part by friend Hafsah Ali, 17, of Leicester.

"I had a real prime opportunity to be a part of this campaign so I jumped at it," said the teenage tycoon, who is also the director of Lincoln-based charter airline HiAir Ltd.

"This is a six-month project where we'll be working with people across the UK to make a difference, trying to bring the issue of youth employment to the forefront."

And this is not the first campaign the teenager has become involved in.

In March, the Echo reported how the Youth Parliament member declared a "war on Britain's pimps" and met with undersecretary of state for children Tim Loughton to discuss the issue of organised gangs exploiting and abusing young people.

"I can't give away many details at the moment as I'd be spoiling the show," said Mr Hayat.

"If you look back at the history of Battlefront as a whole it is always involved in campaigning for issues that are important to society. Youth unemployment is a huge issue and something I really feel passionately about tackling.

"It's about really trying to give young people the opportunity to believe in themselves."

Co-campaigner Miss Ali said: "This is about doing something to make a difference. If we can get as many people as we can to find work, I'll consider it a job well done."

People will be able to follow the campaign online with Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, as well as mini episodes which will be added to a dedicated website to the show each week.

It is hoped there will then be a television episode to sum up all the hard work of the campaign, which also includes other projects and young people around the UK.

It is being launched tomorrow by Raw Television Production Company.

This will be the third season, following the success of Battlefront II last year, which followed 11 young people running campaigns to change the world.

It was awarded the Digital Emmy in the Children and Young People category earlier this year.

You can follow the campaign at www.face book.com/ready4work or www.twitter.com/ ready4work or at www.battlefront.co.uk

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