Lots of you will be very aware of rising youth unemployment, not only because of the headlines but because it's a painful reality for the young people you work with. It's worth checking out Buttle UK, a grant-giving organisation. Their Access to the Future grant programme, in partnership with Barclays, has responded to this trend by trialling something a bit different.
Access to the Future is Buttle UK’s newest programme offering flexible funding to help improve the employability of the most disadvantaged 18-25 year olds. Each bespoke package of support, worth up to £3000, could include training, equipment, clothing, personal development opportunities, licenses, ID. The goal ultimately is seeing barriers removed that prevent young people from accessing employment and allowing each recipient the opportunity to use their talents and motivations to move forward.
Annalie had a traumatic childhood being sexually abused by a family friend. Parental support was minimal and by age 14 she’d run away from home. She achieved only a couple of GCSEs, “sofa-surfed” at friends’ and then escaped a controlling relationship with an older man, finally arriving in a hostel where she started to rebuild her life.
Her housing support worker referred Annalie to the Access to the Future programme as Annalie had been motivated to begin volunteering at a tattoo studio, but lacked the funds to train in this sector. Whilst her ultimate aim was to become a tattoo artist, piercing was seen as a perfect first step to gain employment in the industry and build up her skills and confidence.
With few qualifications and multiple barriers preventing Annalie from entering employment, her case for support was strong. The referrer worked closely with Annalie to pinpoint a suitable training provider and also identify any further costs Annalie might encounter in achieving her ultimate goal of moving into paid employment. A total grant of £1,380.00 was awarded for training, travel, initial equipment and insurance costs and administered through the referral agency.
Annalie completed the course successfully and now continues to work in a body-art apprenticeship, finding the body piercing has been a good way of providing an income, whilst she continues to stabilize things in the rest of her life.
If you’re a professional working with 18-25s who have been long term unemployed and have a career aim they require help achieving, then get in touch. For more information about eligibility criteria look at the Buttle UK website.