Skill Up Step Up campaign: Second charity helping young Londoners into work gets cash from our appeal

·3-min read
Skill Up Step Up campaign: Second charity helping young Londoners into work gets cash from our appeal

An innovative east London charity that upskills jobless young people and gets them into work is the second beneficiary of our £1 million Skill Up Step Up campaign in partnership with Barclays LifeSkills, it can be announced today.

City Gateway provides free employability and skills training in courses of up to 20 weeks to jobless, disadvantaged youths, three-quarters of who are black or minority ethnic and a third of who do not have functional English or maths skills.

Last week we reported how more than one in five young people seeking work in London are unemployed and that this rises to 37 per cent among black 16 to 24-year-olds.

Diane Betts, chief executive of City Gateway, said: “We invite employers to help us change society for the better by stepping up with job or apprenticeship opportunities for the upskilled youth.

“We know there is an incredible pool of hidden talent in this Covid cohort. Whilst our coaching model achieves positive outcomes for those on our programme, young people need support. It is our joint responsibility to improve individual life chances and unlock potential.”

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

What are we doing?

We have launched SKILL UP STEP UP, a £1m initiative in partnership with Barclays LifeSkills to upskill unemployed and disadvantaged young Londoners so they can be “work ready” and step up into sustainable jobs or apprenticeships.

Why are we doing this?

Youth unemployment in London has soared by 55 per cent to 105,000 since the start of the pandemic, meaning that 21 per cent of 16-24 year-olds are jobless at a time of record job vacancies of 1.17M countrywide. This mismatch, caused largely by an employability skills and experience gap, is leading to wasted lives and billions of pounds of lost productivity for our economy.

How will it work?

The £1M from Barclays will provide grant funding over two years for up to five outstanding handpicked charities that provide disadvantaged jobless young Londoners with employability skills and wrap-around care to get them into the labour market and transform their lives.

The charity partners we have announced so far are:

Springboard – they will support young people into jobs in the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, bars, leisure and tourism) via a 3-6 week programme that includes one-to-one mentoring, soft skills and employability development (confidence, work attitude, CV building, interview practice, time management), practical industry and hard skills training including food safety and customer service, as well as access to work experience placements.

City Gateway – they will get young people work ready with a 12-week employability programme, including digital skills, a work placement, CV and interview skills and a dedicated one-to-one coach, extending to up to 20 weeks if they need English and/or Maths qualifications, enabling them to gain entry level positions including apprenticeships in a wide range of sectors, including finance, digital media, marketing, retail, property and IT.

More partner charities will be announced in due course.

How can jobless young Londoners skill up?

If you are aged 16-24 and want to upskill towards a job in hospitality, contact Springboard at:

If you want to upskill towards a job in any other sector, contact City Gateway at:

For tools, tips and learning resources, visit:

How to help

How can employers step up?

We want companies — large, medium and small — to step up to the plate with a pledge to employ one or more trainees in a job or apprenticeship. They could work in your IT, customer service, human resources, marketing or sales departments, or any department with entry-level positions. You will be provided with a shortlist of suitable candidates to interview.

To get the ball rolling, contact the London Community Foundation, who are managing the process at:

How can readers help?

The more money we raise, the more young people we can skill up. To donate go to

Read More

Skill Up Step Up campaign: ‘I want to do social work and help others — but I need you for that’

Skill Up Step Up: Our £1million kickstart to get youngsters ready for work

Skill Up Step Up campaign: Let’s get to work

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