The Charity supports training opportunities for young people who may have left education without the necessary qualifications or skills to achieve economic and social independence.
This has a severely limiting effect on their ability to take up opportunities that might be available to them. John Lyon’s Charity is interested in supporting organisations that seek to help young people acquire basic and vocational skills as well as practical, recognisable qualifications. Training programmes should be as practical as possible and lead to tangible job opportunities at the end of them.
We are particularly interested in helping young people access careers through Arts or Sports initiatives, or in other areas that a young person might not normally have exposure to. We are keen to work with our funded projects to help them find ways to support young people and help them train the future leaders in their sectors.
Established in 2010, Cultivate London provides training and employment opportunities for unemployed young people aged 16-24 in Ealing and Hounslow. It runs a two year apprenticeship programme through Capel Manor College where apprentices work towards a Level 2 Diploma in Practical Horticulture. Apprentices receive additional training in health and safety, CV writing and interview skills. Participants often have mental health problems and/or learning difficulties, poor academic records, alcohol and substance abuse issues, or criminal records.
John Lyon’s Charity is supporting Cultivate London’s Youth Training Programme which consists of a three month training placement in horticulture, gardening and landscaping on urban farms.
The Upper Room
The Upper Room was established in 1990 as a soup kitchen. It has, since evolved to provide employability focussed projects including UR4Jobs, UR4Meals and UR4Kids. John Lyon’s Charity is currently supporting the UR4Driving project, which aims to reduce reoffending by transforming the employability of young ex-offenders by supporting them through their driving test.
UR4Driving was inspired by ex-offenders who were on a work experience project funded by the Mercers’ Company in 2006. Their experience revealed a general desire to learn to drive. Jobs in the transport/warehousing industries are often still open to those with a criminal record and a valid UK driving licence is therefore a de facto vocational qualification for an ex-offender.
The scheme requires total collaboration from all participants and candidates are required to complete 80 hours of mandatory voluntary work in order to receive the free driving lessons and associated tests. Candidates must also attend regular pre-employment training workshops run by The Upper Rom.
In the past year, seven young people from the Charity’s boroughs have passed their practical test and received a full licence; none of these young people have reoffended.
Resurgo Trust – Spear
The Spear project was established in 2003, and is the flagship initiative and main priority of the Resurgo Trust. Spear focuses on worklessness and includes coaching programmes for unemployed young people, an entry-level recruitment service (SpearHead), an employment consultancy and an Ofsted-inspected school operated in partnership with The Lighthouse Group.
Spear provides a comprehensive six week programme, which runs six times per year, for 16-24 year old young people who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET). There are currently six centres in the Charity’s Beneficial Area: three in Hammersmith and Fulham, one on the World’s End Estate in Chelsea, one in Camden and one in Harrow. Each centre serves up to 90 students per year. The project has proven to be hugely successful and has an average of 80% of its graduates still in work or education one year after completing the programme.
Spear covers issues such as: life skills required in the working world, job search skills and interview training, one-to-one and group coaching and a visit to a local company. All students will gain a City & Guilds customer service qualification. Opportunities for employment are provided through SpearHead, a local employment agency also run by Resurgo.
The Charity is currently funding the Centre in North Fulham, which has proven to be very popular. We are also co-funding the Spear project in Harrow, together with Harrow School.
Part of our commitment to supporting training opportunities for young people is in supporting apprenticeship programmes. We primarily support apprenticeships within Arts organisations and those that are targeted at young people within the Charity’s Beneficial Area. Our support is used towards programme running costs and to top up salary levels to enable organisations to attract the best candidates.
The Charity started supporting apprenticeships in 2009 at the Royal Opera House and extended this to include the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 2011. Both organisations are vastly different in terms of scale and therefore have tailored their apprenticeship programmes to best fit their organisation. The Royal Opera House has been offering apprenticeships in backstage production and technical departments since 2007, providing opportunities to gain high-quality vocational training through learning on the job from people within the organisation who are some of the best skilled in the industry. The ICA on the other hand, is newer to the world of apprenticeships and with the Charity’s support, offered their first apprenticeship in 2012/13 in their Events Team. The ICA’s relatively small size meant that the apprentice had to become an integral part of the team, whilst also learning about the intricacies of organising events in a place as varied and as flexible as the ICA.
In the first year, the Charity supported one apprentice at the ICA; this has now grown to three in the second year. The scheme is not without its organisational difficulties, and relies on the ICA being able to build strong links with training providers to provide the written elements of their course. Funding from John Lyon’s Charity also comes with geographical restrictions, as suitable candidates can only be selected from one of the boroughs in our Beneficial Area. The ICA has managed to recruit three excellent candidates in the second year of the project in Events, Operations and Digital Communications.
The success of the apprenticeship programme depends on the willingness of the workforce to embrace the apprentices and pass on their skills and knowledge. As the reputation of the first Events Apprentice, Sobastian, grew, other departments within the ICA all became very keen to host the next cohort.
Sobastian, pictured, comments:
‘Since working here at the ICA I have already become much more aware of how the events management industry works and operates. Also how complex and hectic days can become at times as well as being repetitive and even sometimes slow. However, all in all the experience I have received has been more than expected. Being involved with offering site vistis to confirming events and writing up contracts has given me a deep insight into how events operate. In addition, being able to work alongside the Events Manager here at the ICA has been even more helpful, as they provide a mentor role which keeps me on track and in the right direction on how things should be done.’