In developing this project, staff and Governors wanted to see what a well-funded project could achieve for some of the hardest to reach NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training). It ran for three years (2009-2012) and our funding amounted to £585,000.
The tailor-made scheme had the aim of developing the employability and long-term prospects of each of the participants. See our summary of the project here.
The aim of the Scheme was to completely turn around ten young lives, allowing ten young people from Lambeth who had faced many challenges to become skilled, employable and, ultimately, financially independent.
The Walcot Apprenticeship Scheme provided a comprehensive range of support over three years delivered in partnership with Knights Youth Centre. The Foundation paid apprentices’ salaries and any additional expenses such as travelling, equipment, training and childcare. The project delivered a holistic programme of support including: a two day residential, an intensive 16 week programme of personal learning and development, advice with debt, group literacy support, help with job search, training in cognitive behavioural therapy and one-to-one coaching. This breadth and depth of support is rare.
Impact - independently assessed
"There is clear evidence of benefit to the apprentices. Seven of the nine apprentices we interviewed did not know what work they wanted to do when they joined the Scheme and all now have an intended direction. All described to us strong motivation to work although this is not always translated into attendance and punctuality. All but one (who was already well motivated) said they were more motivated to find a job than when they joined. Eight of the nine said the Scheme has taught them how to find information on jobs that would suit them. All except one respondent (who is leaving the Scheme) said that it had made their lives better, generally much better. All respondents said that they are now confident about finding or keeping a job."
These are the conclusions we drew from the project, which we hope will be of value to other apprenticeship schemes: