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Street Elite Goes Digital to Tackle Youth Unemployment

Training for work initiative, Street Elite, is using digital tools to keep its participants engaged during the UK lockdown.

Youth employment programme Street Elite traditionally works with young people via face to face training in gyms and youth centres. Now, it has entered a new digital era with 100% of its coaching being delivered virtually in the wake of the corona virus lockdown.

The nine month programme, delivered by The Change Foundation and funded by the Berkeley Foundation and Mayor of London, uses sport and mentoring to help young people impacted by crime, violence and inequality, to gain the confidence and skills to get a job or go on to further education.

Dozens of young people across London and Birmingham are now receiving mentoring, daily fitness sessions and tests, group challenges, mock job interviews, CV workshops and career talks through a mix of WhatsApp, House Party and Zoom.

In addition to this, they have received a donation of 50 PlayStations from Sony which means they can run structured e-sport competitions to ensure that no participant is left out.

Dedicated coaches are on the end of the virtual line, encouraging participants to make positive life changes and think about how they can move into work or education once the lockdown is over.

Henry Glynn, Head of Programmes at The Change Foundation, said:

"We set the young people daily challenges that make sure they get out of bed and stay in a routine. They don't realise it, but we're slowly starting to teach them the kind of skills, like timekeeping, that they will need to get a job.

We've also done a series of webinars with property developer the Berkeley Group to get them learning about the kind of careers there are out there. It's opened their eyes to a whole new world. We're constantly connecting with our colleagues from across the sector to share learnings and collaborate on new ideas and solutions."

Sally Dickinson, Head of Berkeley Foundation said:

"Building strong, trust-based relationships with young people is what makes Street Elite so successful. We've been really impressed by how The Change Foundation have embraced new technology to maintain these relationships and keep the young people engaged. We're now sharing these learnings with our other charity partners to support them through the this challenging time."

This year the Street Elite programme is working with 70 young men and women across London and Birmingham.

A recent report by Bean Research found that for every £1 invested in Street Elite, it generates £10.72 in social value over 3 years.