London is a wealthy, vibrant city offering some of the best opportunities in the world – yet these are not open to all. London has one of the highest unemployment rates for 16-24-year-olds in England, and young people are 22% more likely to be in insecure employment than any other age group. Those from BAME backgrounds are particularly vulnerable and twice as likely to be unemployed than those from white backgrounds.
This injustice is particularly indefensible when London is experiencing significant skills shortages, which are predicted to worsen over the next decade. The reality is that 42% of London employers are not confident of being able to recruit people with the skills their organisation needs over the next five years, and the number of cases where employers have been unable to fill a vacancy due to skills shortages has more than doubled since 2011 (CBI London Business Survey 2016).
It is clear that London needs a better system to bridge the gap between young people reaching their potential and companies achieving their growth ambitions. Increasing social integration, community cohesion, inclusivity and diversity is a priority for the well-being of London and all Londoners.
Access Aspiration is an evidence-led employability programme designed to equip 16 to18-year-old Londoners from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with the confidence and skills needed to positively engage with employment.
By offering a vibrant range of school-based and employer-based learning opportunities as well as employer interactions, this programme aims to improve young people’s employability and increase social mobility by broadening their understanding of the workplace and increasing confidence, resilience and knowledge.
Effective career education, with active engagement from employers, is critical when helping young people understand the full range of career pathways available to them. In fact, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation Report (2014) highlighted the fact that young adults who recall four or more encounters with employers while at school are five times less likely to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
To date, over 2,700 students have signed up to the programme and we have delivered just under 8,000 employers encounters.
So, if you’re keen on unlocking opportunities for the next generation through Access Aspiration, please do get in touch with our team.