Skill Up, Step Up – an initiative by the Evening Standard and the Independent, in partnership with Barclays LifeSkills – launched today to get disadvantaged, unemployed young Londoners work ready and into sustainable jobs and apprenticeships.
During a time of record job vacancies nationwide, youth unemployment in London has soared by 55% since the start of the pandemic, with 21% of Londoners aged 16-24 seeking work still jobless. Skill Up, Step Up will support the unemployed youth community in London, teaching the skills they need to kickstart their career.
Hospitality charity Springboard is one of up to five partnering with the campaign to provide disadvantaged jobless young Londoners with employability skills, practical training and wrap-around care to make them ‘work ready’ and supporting them to secure a role within hospitality, leisure and tourism.
Chris Gamm, CEO of Springboard, said: “Employers are working hard to increase pay, improve employee work-life balance, diversify their workforce and put in place development plans that make them attractive to future talent, as well as to motivate and retain their existing teams. One of the biggest challenges they face, however, is convincing not just potential future employees, but also influencers like parents, teachers and careers advisors what a fulfilling and dynamic career hospitality presents, with the opportunities to quickly develop, gain transferable skills and earn a great salary in a short space of time.
“Skill Up, Step Up is a game changer for both young people who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the hospitality industry that are desperate to attract them to their businesses.”
Springboard will play an integral role in Skill Up, Step Up, offering 3–6-week employability training programmes to hundreds of young people. This will include specialised one-to-one mentoring, soft skill and employability development, practical industry and hard skills training, as well as work experience.
The training will cover a wide range of transferable and industry specific skills across hotels, restaurants, bars, leisure, and tourism. Modules will be aimed at supporting participants with confidence, work attitude, CVs, interview skills and time management, as well as health and safety and customer service.
Springboard is asking hospitality businesses of all sizes to step up to the plate with a pledge to employ one or more trainees in a job or apprenticeship. Businesses will be provided with a shortlist of suitable candidates to interview.
The campaign will be run across both the Evening Standard and The Independent titles and will be led by the same team that ran their award-winning 2020 Food For London Now and Help the Hungry campaigns, as well as the Dispossessed campaign which has been running since 2010.
David Cohen, campaigns editor for both the Evening Standard and The Independent, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Springboard who have an outstanding record of helping disadvantaged young people become work ready and securing them sustainable jobs in the hospitality industry. Young people need the likes of Springboard more than ever and London needs hospitality to be fully staffed so this is a win-win situation. We are hoping it will be a game-changer for young people and a boon for the capital’s economy.”