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Rothschild Foundation partners with Catch22 to support those facing barriers to employment into work

The initial 2-year partnership will help fund Catch22’s Horizons employability programme.

23 September 2021

With the furlough scheme finishing at the end of September, and predictions that at least 900,000 people will then be facing unemployment, support for those searching for jobs – and particularly those facing barriers to work – has never been more vital.

Catch22 aims to support 20,000 people into work over the next 3 years, and Horizons is a key part of that. It is thought to be one of the first employability programmes to address both unemployment and underemployment; where work is either low paid, unstable or without opportunities to progress.

With the support of Rothschild Foundation, the programme will be able to expand its reach and help more people who are facing challenges – whether that’s homelessness, poor mental health, low education attainment or other barriers – into meaningful work.

Kat Dixon, Director of Partnerships at Catch22, said:

“It’s fantastic to have Rothschild Foundation on board and committed to helping us reduce unemployment rates and help people facing barriers into sustainable roles.  They join JPMorgan Chase in funding a programme with high ambitions and a relentless drive to succeed.

“We know that the pandemic has negatively impacted employment rates, and those who are furthest from the job market have inevitably been hit the hardest. From our experience of running successful employability programmes, we know that intense 1:1 work is vital to help people realise their ambition and to make sure that the work they do secure is more than just a stop gap. Not only do we want to secure jobs for people, we want to make sure they’re decent jobs.”

The programme, currently focused on London jobseekers, provides 1:1 guidance alongside group sessions, specific training and in-work support.

All participants receive:

    • Support from Career Advisors: Participants work with Career Advisors to develop a bespoke, aspiration-based career plan. Support includes coaching, relationship-building and practical support (eg. helping someone access housing services).
    • Group pre-employability support: Participants work in groups to gain key employability skills: communication; problem-solving; team-working, writing CVs and cover letters; applying for jobs; interview techniques and setting future career goals.
    • Volunteer-supported inspiration sessions: Volunteers from professional careers help participants understand their roles and what their jobs are like from the inside.
    • A menu of technical training options: All participants are encouraged to complete technical training courses and gain relevant licenses, where it supports their journey.
    • In-work support: Participants receive up to 6 months in-work support from the Catch22 team. Participants will be allocated support workers to help them identify any challenges; such as being punctual, adjusting to a new working environment, emotional responses, and accessing the Catch22 bursary for food or travel in their first week, or any training materials they need.

Horizons also provides access to laptops and connectivity support for young people where digital exclusion presents a barrier.

Tamsin, a Horizons participant, said:

“I am so grateful for the support and encouragement from the Catch22 Horizons programme. Without it I am not sure I would have found a job.”

Leona Forsyth, Grants Manager at Rothschild Foundation, said:

“The Rothschild Foundation’s support of Catch22’s Horizons employability programme comes at a time when young people face significant challenges, and when particular support into work is needed. We believe this grant will enable Catch22 to strengthen their services and consolidate their position as a leading organisation working with young people to achieve positive change.”

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