Working it Out is a bespoke intensive personal development programme for disadvantaged young people in East London. The programme helps 36 young people every year to overcome personal and social barriers to employment, education and training.
More than 1 in 5 young people in Barking & Dagenham is unemployed, and many of them face problems such as unsupportive parents, lack of formal education, criminal records or severe learning needs. Working It Out provides them with individualised practical support to improve their digital skills (email, internet, social media and even software like Photoshop) to help them find jobs and increase employability. It also helps young people gain skills through volunteering and helping others.
The programme, which is supported by Barclays, also offers participants the chance to get involved in a “digital challenge” which is designed to improve confidence, self-esteem, motivation, teamwork, communication skills and digital skills. Employees from Barclays also volunteer for skills sessions, workshops and mock interviews.
Since the scheme began, 84% completed the programme, and 85% of those people were in employment, training or education by the end of the 16 weeks. Of those people, 85% had sustained the positive outcome a year later.