With 15 per cent of young people failing to make a successful move from education into employment, ThinkForward is a breakthrough programme which intervenes early to significantly improve the chances of those most at risk of dropping out.
ThinkForward is different from other initiatives because:
1.We provide a single point of contact with an experienced and trusted coach – we place highly qualified and skilled ‘super coaches’ in schools where they identify and work with young people most at risk of not making a successful transition into work. They help young people explore their future career goals and provide one-to-one coaching that inspires them to succeed.
2. We start young and provide long term support – from the age of 14 years when young people are making decisions about their GCSEs they need information about the types of jobs in their local area and guidance on the skills, experience and qualifications required for entry into these jobs. We stick with young people for the long term, providing up to five years of sustained support. We believe this continuity of support helps young people not only get a job or college course but to stay with it.
3. We are connective and not duplicative – we help young people make full use of the relevant existing services in their community. The coaches also match and prepare young people for external initiatives and, where there are gaps, we create tailored opportunities with our partner employers.
4. We bring young people into contact with employers – research by the Education and Employers Taskforce found that young people who recalled ‘four or more employer contacts’ were five times less likely to be not in education, employment, or training (NEET). The tragedy is that only seven percent of those questioned recalled four such activities taking place. Through ThinkForward we can change this by providing access to activities as simple as visiting a workplace or having a local business leader speak at a school through to more involved activities, like having a dedicated mentor or completing a work experience placement.
“ThinkForward guides and supports young people at risk of dropping out as they navigate the often challenging journey through school and into their first job. One key to the programme’s success is building bridges between the often separate worlds of education and the workplace. Once the programme’s impact is proven, we believe it has the potential to improve the prospects of disadvantaged school leavers nationwide.”
–Charlie Green, Chair, ThinkForward
“Your impressive results show how helping young people early on can change the course of their lives from being out of work or training to being on track for a great career. ThinkForward is showing just what can be done and I congratulate you on the work you have achieved so far.”
–Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister