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Employment and training

Catch22, The Prince’s Trust and Apprentice Nation join forces

Three young people sit around a high table having a conversation. They are out of focus, with a backpack on the closest chair in the foreground.

Young people aged 16-25 who are at risk of serious violence are set to benefit from an inspiring new employability programme delivered by Catch22, The Prince’s Trust and Apprentice Nation.

The Creating Opportunities programme – funded by the Home Office and HM Treasury – will help up to 1,500 young people develop the skills they need to make a successful transition into work, training and apprenticeships.The programme aims to support participants by:

  • reducing risk factors and increasing the protective factors for serious violence,
  • demonstrating progress in their distance travelled towards employment, and
  • improving their overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Mat Ilic, Chief Development Officer at Catch22, said:

“Young people’s employment prospects and mental wellbeing have been disproportionately affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly true for those young people who find themselves in a situation where they’re at risk of falling into a life of crime. This programme will address their individual needs, work with them build confidence and explore options when it comes to work and training – and ultimately help them achieve their ambitions.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with The Prince’s Trust and Apprentice Nation – between us we have experience of working across violence reduction and criminal justice, children’s services, education, with national employers and Department for Work and Pensions, and have a stellar track record of youth social action, through participative youth programmes.”

Young people facing multiple barriers need high-quality wrap-around support. According to Movement to Work, 68% of participants who receive this kind of help sustain their placements and move into work, compared to 32% who don’t.

All participants on the programme will receive:

  • One-to-one support from a dedicated Careers Coach to help identify and achieve goals.
  • A personalised support package featuring a range of tailored workshops, to help with employability skills, job search skills, work experience; agency, self-efficacy, goal setting and the resilience to achieve it; vocational and basic skills; and addressing barriers including health and wellbeing, independent living, housing, and developing life skills.
  • Priority access to all the existing programmes that Catch22 and The Prince’s Trust currently offer, including employability support, mentoring and entrepreneurship.
  • Exclusive rewards through Apprentice Nation’s online platform, offering on-demand content and live webinars from popular artists such as Ghetts, Young T & Bugsey, Ray BLK and IAMDDB.
  • Access to our directory of opportunities, including national and local jobs, work experience, Kickstart, apprenticeships, traineeships and training courses.
  • Financial support with a personalised budget to power the career goals of every participant.
  • Mental wellbeing support through the SHOUT texting service.
  • Referrals to other services which address personal challenges.
  • 6 months of ongoing support in your new job, apprenticeship or course.

Ben Marson, Director of Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said:

“The Prince’s Trust is proud to be working with Catch22 and Apprentice Nation on the Creating Opportunities Programme to support young people who have engaged with, or are at risk of engaging with, serious youth violence. The programme will combine the expertise of our three organisations, giving young people access to employment-related services as well as supporting their personal and social development.

“We hope that young people who participate on this programme build their confidence and feel supported to take their next steps towards employment, education or training.”

The programme will initially run until March 2023, with the aim of supporting 1,500 young people into opportunities over the coming 18 months.

Stephen Greene, CEO RockCorps, Producer of Apprentice Nation, said: 

“We have admired the work of Catch22 and The Prince’s Trust for many years and so it is an honour to now work alongside them.  At Apprentice Nation, we know that visibility is mission critical and this programme will help bring opportunities to those young people who need them the most. At Apprentice Nation we bring a different slant to career development; as an edutainment platform we want to make learning and development both an enjoyable and meaningful experience; that’s why we work with authentic and relatable music artists to share inspiring messages.  Respect, Tools and Opportunity.”