Prospects is recognised as a leader in supporting young people into work and learning. The recent publication of the national figures for the coalition government’s flagship Youth Contract show Prospects ahead of the national rankings for the number of young people helped into employment, education or training and, more importantly for the young people involved, better outcomes for those stay and progress in work and learning.
The figures show Prospects helped almost 5,600 16 and 17 year olds in north and south London who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) and had no GCSEs graded A*-C. 70% of these young people entered work or learning with three-quarters of them staying in their placements for a minimum of six months. Nationally 67% of young people remained in learning or work, 8% fewer than in London where Prospects ran the Youth Contract. Later the contract expanded enabling more young people to participate. Prospects supported a further 1,600 16 and 17 year olds who were NEET with one GCSE at A*-C; were young offenders; or were in, or had recently left care. In this later group Prospects supported 74% of these additional young people into education, employment or training and 80% remained in learning or work for six months or more. This is again better than the national average where 30% of young people supported dropped out of employment, education and training.
To run the Youth Contract Prospects took a new approach. Highly motivated mentors supported each young person for up to a year. This one-to-one approach empowered the young people to own their futures, and guaranteed no one, even the young people most disengaged, slipped through the net. Like each young person, each Prospects mentor was an individual, and was encouraged to find the best route for the young person. After the Youth Contract concluded many of the young people acknowledged it was this one-to-one support that made the difference.
For Judith Denyer, Prospects Regional Director for London, this fresh approach was a significant factor in Prospects success. Judith comments: “When we started running the Youth Contract we had no existing delivery model. However, we did have extensive experience of working with young people within the local authorities where we deliver young support services.
“We were adamant that to make the Youth Contract work we had to work closely with those already working with young people on the ground. It’s in our blood to talk to the local authorities and take a joined up approach. Throughout the contract we nurtured warm relationships with stakeholders including existing providers including charities and local authorities to ensure we worked in synergy providing the young person with the best options and did not repeat work already undertaken locally.”
Judith continues: “We were delighted when we saw the government results for the Youth Contract; it is a testament to the hard work of our mentors. Whereas as a company we nurtured stakeholder relationships as individuals our mentors nurtured trusting relationships with the young people they supported. To make a contract like this work it is all about the personal relationships, the policies and procedures can change but that one-to-one relationship is what ultimately matters to the young person.”
Across London Prospects takes a holistic approach to the work it provides for local authorities’ young people services, targeted youth support work, the National Careers Service and specialist employment support for adults. Judith adds: “It is this joined up working together that ensures Prospects is regularly one of the best performing organisations delivering large and small scale contracts not just in London but across the country.”
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Notes to Editor
The Prospects Group provides tailored education, employment, training and care products and services for people at all stages of life. Each year Prospects inspires more than 500,000 people to develop their potential and transform their lives. More than 1,400 professional and skilled colleagues provide practical support to the local communities they are based in across the UK and internationally. Prospects is one of the largest employee owned companies in the UK. It is also a Leader in Diversity and ranked in the top 100 index by the National Centre for Diversity.
Alona de Havilland
07790 803882 or 01823 362804