Both businesses and local authorities are determined to improve skills for employability, particularly among young people and those not in education, employment or training. This means ensuring more young people thrive in school, helping those at risk of dropping out to become re-engaged in learning and increasing the take-up of traineeships and apprenticeships.
Jack Loughlin, Salford City Council
"By working collaboratively and pragmatically with existing support services and providers, Groundwork is contributing towards the decline in the number of NEET young people in Salford."
Groundwork has a national network of Achievement Coaches, trained youth workers providing one-to-one and small group support to help young people achieve their full potential and avoid becoming NEET. Last year our coaches and volunteers helped 1400 young people in 60 schools, delivering measurable results in terms of attitude and attainment.
Providing practical skills and experience in a way that also benefits local communities
Groundwork has particular expertise in growing the skills needed by employers. Our approach instils confidence, personal responsibility and a team ethic. We also enhance communication skills and embed literacy and numeracy skills in practical activities, creating the building blocks for providing good customer service.
We help young people access apprenticeships by providing preemployment support and teaching basic skills, and we manage a variety of supported work placements to instil the disciplines required in the workplace. Increasingly we are developing our own social enterprises as a route to helping people enter the labour market while stimulating local economies.
Groundwork in Action: Jasmine's story
Jasmine was referred to the Achievement Coaches programme because she was at risk of under-achieving and displayed a range of personal and social risk factors including under-age drinking. Despite being defensive and withdrawn at first,
Jasmine’s attitude to her Coach became much more positive as the weeks went by. Teachers report a significant change in attitude. Jasmine now has a career aspiration and understands how her behaviour and achievement in school can help her to achieve her goal.
Groundwork worked with Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester to help bring 44 disaffected year 11 pupils like Jasmine back into mainstream education and ensure they achieved improved qualifications. Coaches worked closely with school staff to tackle personal and social barriers to learning resulting in significant improvements in attendance and an increase in average attainment to five A*- C grades at GCSE with particular improvements in Maths and English.
Groundwork in Action: Improving lives, transforming places
In London, Groundwork has formed a consortium with Balfour Beatty and The Landscape Group to maintain Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and nearby venues for ten years, with up to 85% of the jobs being filled by long-term unemployed people from the Olympic host boroughs.
Groundwork also manages the REWORK workshops in Wandsworth and Greenford, which provide training and work placements while repairing and refurbishing electrical goods that would otherwise go to landfill, as well as ‘upcycling’ unwanted furniture into new products.