Increasing Employability Skills through Third Sector Programmes: A UK-case study

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsConference Presentation


Background: Over thirteen million people in the UK are currently living in poverty, and over three million are children (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2021). Research estimates that 4.1 million children and young people live in poverty in the UK (30% of children). The Youth Futures Foundation (2021) argue that many young people do not have access to support or appropriate information to find employment or apply to further or higher education (Youth Futures Foundation, 2021). Objective: This paper investigates the experiences of young people participating in an Inspire Programme delivered by a charitable organisation in the United Kingdom. It seeks to understand the role employers play in teaching young people the skills required for work and in empowering them to become community role models. Participants and Setting: Research was conducted with a charitable organisation delivering an Inspire Programme in the United Kingdom. This Inspire Programme was designed to provide young people with the practical skills required for entering the workplace through direct engagement with employers. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were analysed with a thematic analysis approach with young people (n = 9), parents (n = 2) and educators (n = 5) involved in the Inspire Programme. Thematic analysis led to the identification of four core themes: improvements in confidence and wellbeing; feelings of belonging; developing skills for work; and promoting active citizenship. Photo Stories, an innovative method adapted from Photovoice, was adopted to provide a visual representation of young people’s experiences. Results: Findings illustrate that Inspire Programmes create positive and support environments for young people to flourish. Innovative support that offers practical-based experience is critical for alleviating the social inequalities’ that impact on young people, families, and communities. Conclusions: Promoting skills for work through practical activities with employers helps instil a sense of belonging for young people, which is essential, in promoting confidence, leadership and resilience. Furthermore, it promotes active citizenships that, in turn, helps young people to feel a sense of belonging in the community.
Period25 Jun 2022
Event titleWork-Family Justice: Practices, Partnerships & Possibilities: WFRN 6th Biennial Conference JUNE 23-25, 2022 in NYC
Event typeConference
LocationNew York, United States, New YorkShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational