NEWS: Tailored employment programme ‘Progress’ extended to help over 340 more West Midlands young people get into work

“I was in a pretty dark place, but the programme was an outlet for me” 

Community charity, Groundwork, has received funding of over £982,000 to extend the delivery of the youth employment programme, Progress, to the year 2023.

This will allow the programme to support a further 341 young people across Coventry and Warwickshire into employment, training or education.

Progress, part of the Building Better Opportunities programme and funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, works with young people who need additional support and are the furthest away from mainstream education or the job market.

The programme offers tailored support to 15 – 24-year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training to overcome barriers to employment, such as a lack of opportunities, practical training and education, or mental and physical health conditions.

Through tailored, one-to-one support, the programme aims to increase the confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing of those enrolled, boosting social and personal skills as well as employability.

Progress offers an intensive, personalised programme of coaching, support and training, delivered by a partnership of leading youth charities and local organisations who specialise in engaging young people.

Young people get a dedicated Progress Coach – an experienced youth work professional – who encourages them to set positive goals, inspires a positive work attitude and helps them navigate their own personal plan towards employment.

To date, the programme has supported 1,055 young people into employment such as Jake from Warwick.

Jake in the studio rapping into the mic in the background. With the music coach sitting at the foreground in front of various music production equipment.

Jake, 17, from Warwick, at a recording session in the studio during one of the private sessions provided by Progress.

Before taking part in Progress, Jake felt unmotivated and suicidal. Struggling at school, he was in a dark place and felt trapped in the classroom, getting into trouble for not being interested in the lessons. Thanks to Progress, Jake was able to undertake one to one music production sessions. Music gave him a sense of freedom and ability to use his creativity to have control over his own narrative, something which he had not felt before.

Jake, 17, said: “I was in a pretty dark place, but the programme was an outlet for me. I channelled my experiences into content for songs and was able to dig myself out of the hole I was in. I feel like it’s made me more comfortable with collaborating and more confident in general, I’m progressing at a nice pace and it feels like I’m actually getting somewhere. The music production sessions have given me a reason to go outside but also for something that makes me happy.”

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive said: “The barriers to employment that young people face have only been exacerbated during the pandemic. Funding like this is vital to providing opportunities for young people to enter the job market, whether the first step to that is education, training or practical experience. Progress goes above and beyond professional competency skills to support young people in aspects of personal development. The additional focus on wellbeing and confidence creates a well-rounded programme which we are proud to deliver.”

Find out more about Progress


NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information, please contact media@groundwork.org.uk or call 07793844627.

ABOUT PROGRESS

Progress offers a tailored programme of coaching and support to help NEET young people access training and employment opportunities. Progress is targeted at those who are the furthest away from getting work, training or back into education. It does this by providing one-to-one help to find a job, to get them back into education or to support the delivery of practical living skills, mental health support and maths and English qualifications: www.groundwork.org.uk/progress

ABOUT GROUNDWORK

Groundwork is a charity working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. We’re passionate about creating a future where every neighbourhood is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny, and no one is held back by their background or circumstances. We help people gain confidence and skills, get into training and work, protect and improve green spaces, lead more active lives and overcome significant challenges such as poverty, isolation, low skills and poor health: www.groundwork.org.uk

ABOUT BUILDING BETTER OPPORTUNITIES

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to 6 of 8 communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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Progress has received £6,619,527 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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