Making the Leap

We transform the futures of children and young people from social and economically disadvantaged backgrounds aged 11 – 25 from London by raising their aspirations, helping them develop the skills, behaviours and attitudes to succeed and by increasing their access to opportunities. We run bespoke life skills and careers projects for children (aged 11 – 18) in secondary schools and for young people (aged 16 – 25) from our centre in Kensal Green. Our work ranges from character development, soft skills training; employability and career planning; and supporting young people into meaningful employment, further education and training.

The project

The fair took place on Thursday 17 November 2016 from 10am – 2pm at the Central Hall, Westminster. This venue was ideal for the event due to its facilities and central location making it easy for young people to access.

Recruitment of young people for the fair

Our experienced and enthusiastic recruitment team used a variety of methods to engage and recruit young people for the fair including conducting community outreach at targeted locations across London, word of mouth with young people referring their friends/family, utilising our networks and partnerships and through our social media accounts. Some of the locations we visited included Jobcentre Plus offices, community groups and housing associations. We also promoted the event to our MTL alumni of young people we have helped previously and they referred their friends/family.

Our recruitment team liaised directly with every young person in advance to sign them up to attend, this was carried out via the telephone or face to face. This enabled us to understand their current situation, assess their suitability and provide them with the key event information. Once young people signed up, we continued to engage with them prior to the event via phone and email. This engagement with the young people was important, as it increased the likelihood of them attending the event, as they were more familiar with us.

The fair

We recruited a range of top employers to exhibit at the fair from various sectors including banking, accountancy, professional services/finance, legal creative, I.T. and healthcare. We had 12 employers exhibiting at the event including Metro Bank, PwC, RAF, Civil Service, Freemantle Media UK and CMS. We were also pleased to have CMC Markets Plc exhibiting at the fair.

To maximise the experience for the young people, we sourced employers who mainly had live opportunities available including graduate roles, higher level apprenticeships and internships. Through the Careers Fair, we provided young people with the unique and exciting opportunity to connect with employers they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to connect with.

During the fair, there were also a number of seminars and interesting interactive presentations which took place in an additional side room for the young people to attend. These sessions were delivered by representatives from companies or professionals, drawing on their experience and expertise. Each seminar focused on a specific skill or areas of job readiness in order to further assist the young people including personal branding, leadership, assessment centre recruitment and the importance of goal setting.

We were also really pleased that Dr Peter Cruddas attended the event to share his story with the young people and officially open the fair. His story was very inspirational and his message of emphasising the importance of working hard and having the right attitude resonated with our young people.

Our beneficiaries

The young people we helped through this event were from social and economically disadvantaged backgrounds across London and were looking to secure employment. This included young people from low income households, single parent families, workless households or those who were eligible to receive free school meals whilst they were in full time education.

In total, 180 young people attended the fair from across 24 London Boroughs.

It has been absolutely vital in enabling us to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the unique and exciting opportunity to connect with employers they otherwise would not have the opportunity to connect with, thereby giving them the opportunity to transform their lives.

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