Preparing young people for their futures

How our partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation is helping young people build key employability skills

Young Enterprise has been working in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation – a foundation that inspires and motivates young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex – for more than nine years.

Together, we are helping equip young people aged 13-18 across London and Essex with the skills they will need as they approach the world of work. Working collaboratively, we have supported young people from mainstream secondary schools and alternative education provisions, including a Pupil Referral Unit.

We know our work is important and valued by young people. The recent Jack Petchey Foundation Shaping Our Future Covid-19 Youth Survey asked 6,000 young people what opportunities they wanted to see after the lockdown and over half (53%) answered ‘training opportunities and career advice’.

The foundation’s support has enabled more than 2,600 young people to take part in a Young Enterprise programme over the last academic year (2021/22). These interventions help develop attitudes, an enterprising mindset and the life skills these young people will require as they begin planning for their futures.

Combining digital programmes with face-to-face learning

We know young people engage with their learning in different ways. That’s why we offered a combination of digital and classroom-based programmes to help them develop key employability skills.

With many young people displaying a lack of confidence when applying for jobs and being unable to recognise the transferable skills they already have, it’s important to help them more readily identify these skills and build their confidence.

Our digital programme, Employable Me, helps young people to recognise the skills and qualities they already have while also developing their knowledge on topics such as writing CVs, interview tips and job-hunting. As a self-led programme, participants take responsibility for their own learning, setting goals and planning their next steps. Feedback from one young person taking part in the programme demonstrates its impact:

“I’ve learnt that interviews aren’t just all about answering questions. It’s about expressing yourself and not just giving answers but also reasons as to why you have certain skills… It really opened my eyes to prepare for my future. I am going to focus more on my goals and strengthen what I lack.”

Making it real and relatable

Research tells us that young people learn best when faced with real, relevant and meaningful scenarios. That’s why the in-school Employability Masterclass programme provides opportunities for young people to hear from local employers and employees about the skills and qualities required to succeed in the workplace.

Providing access to relatable role models who have authentic stories and who share their own journey is key to the programme’s success, helping bring the world of work to life for young people. This is why Young Enterprise’s Volunteer network is crucial in providing young people with access to role models who can help raise their aspirations and build their personal networks.

After taking part in one of the masterclasses, 84% of participants agreed that they felt confident about entering the world of world, an increase from 54% beforehand, with one young person expressing their gratitude for the opportunity:

“I would like to thank the Young Enterprise and the Jack Petchey Foundation for enabling us with this opportunity. The Employability Masterclass was indeed beneficial and I believe that other young people will benefit from this.”

We are incredibly grateful to the Jack Petchey Foundation for their continued support. We also thank everyone who has played a part in supporting this cohort of young people, including volunteers from organisations such as Euroclear, Samsung, London Business School, Colgate, Mazars and Civica; what you are doing is changing young people’s lives.