Blog post

Covid – one year on

It’s one year since schools in England closed to the majority of students due to Covid-19.

Overnight we shifted to staff working from home. Our CEO Ashley McCaul, with support from our board, led by our chair Charlie Green, immediately recognised that in unprecedented times, we were a lifeline for many of our young people and their families, and made the decision to keep our programmes running.

Like our young people, we had to draw on resilience  to keep operating while managing staff illness and the difficult personal circumstances many of our team faced at home. We adapted to remote delivery for coaching and innovated to find new ways to host our employability activities.

In the last year we also produced a new five-year strategy with support from Bain & Company  and we are developing a new equalities plan which will sit at the heart everything we do. To make sure the voices of young people are heard by government, we joined the Youth Employment Group, set up by Impetus.

As we look ahead we can see the prospect of some normality returning, but for our young people we know the job market will be incredibly challenging and we will continue to build on our work with employers to create more job pathways for young people.

Ashley said: “I’d like to pay tribute to ThinkForward’s staff, our school, employer and funding partners and our young people, who all faced huge challenges due to Covid-19. I’m proud that we continued supporting young people through the pandemic. Our focus now is to ensure every young person on our programmes has the better and brighter future they deserve. Through coaching and employability activities we will be doing all we can to prepare them to gain the confidence, independence and skills they need for their next steps.”