What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
In terms of well-being at work Britain is amongst the bottom third of European countries. Of developed countries, Britain is one of worst regarding social inequality, ranking 26th on the most recent UN Human Development Report. The outlook is particularly bleak for 16-24 year olds. How does a disadvantaged young person successfully go about researching, preparing and applying for a good job? Especially in this current climate of cuts? And why should they be the ones to settle for jobs that do not engage them fully, just because they don't have resources to push for one they deserve?
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
There is an urgent need to provide holistic career support for disadvantaged young people. The EMA scheme has been scrapped. The Government has just cut Children's Services by £819 million—Connexions is one of the key services to go. Every university plans to charge more than £6,000 in tuition fees (and three quarters of them are predicted to charge the full £9,000) at a time when 30% admit fewer state school students than they should. And any young person looking for employment will be joining this country's biggest ever cohort of out-of-work youth: 20.6% of 16-24 year olds are unemployed.
What is your solution?
Spark+Mettle’s mission is to help disadvantaged young people unleash their potential and harness it to a fulfilling career. The UK’s education system falls short in preparing them to be competitive in the workforce. For the marginalised and the disaffected Spark+Mettle is an essential bridge between an under-resourced education and a fruitful, meaningful, engaged career.
We will provide these young people with a holistic year-long programme of education and training. Our programme has been carefully designed so that by the end they are able to find meaningful employment. They will also have improved their levels of well-being and self-esteem.
How will you deliver this?
Our activities will include:
i. Running a holistic training and development programme. This will be predominantly delivered through our innovative and interactive website.
ii. Providing a mentorship scheme. Accomplished mentors will provide weekly e-mentoring sessions as well as regular face-to-face meetings.
iii. Funding work placements. Our recruits research and apply for internships. We will provide a stipend so they can afford to attend them.
iv. Developing networks with progressive organisations and individuals. A key way to improve well-being is to take part in engaging, meaningful work. We will find organisations to take on our recruits that can offer this.