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Why apprenticeships matter at ThinkForward

As part of our mission to equip young people with the skills they need to make a successful transition into employment, we have created our own ThinkForward youth support apprenticeship and currently employ four young people from our programme in the role.

Youth support apprentices work alongside coaches at each ThinkForward school providing peer-to-peer mentoring support to other young people. This involves helping them access work experience and volunteering placements, matching them with employee mentors in our partner businesses, or encouraging them to get involved with community action projects.

Apprentices also coordinate monthly job clubs where those seeking work can meet other young people and access employability skills training.

ThinkForward youth support apprentices naturally add value by serving as role models, raising awareness about the programme and helping other young people to get involved.

As a charity committed to preventing young people from becoming NEET and enabling them to  realise their full potential, our apprenticeship programme brings significant benefits to the young people in these positions, our organisation as a whole and wider society in general. For example, the Centre for Economics and Business Research has estimated that when done right, apprenticeships can bring immense value, generating up to £34bn for the economy each year.

Having been through similar experiences themselves, youth support apprentices complement the work of the Coaches by helping them to earn the trust of the young people they support, which in turn increases engagement with those who are hardest to reach.

In addition to working on the frontline with Coaches in schools and the community, all ThinkForward apprentices are studying for business administration qualifications one day a week. This is part of the work-based learning opportunities that apprenticeships provide and all four apprentices have become fully integrated into ThinkForward’s operational working on a day-to-day basis and are relied upon by progression coaches and ThinkForward staff to provide the administrative support when needed.

If you are a business leader or employer that would like to take on a ThinkForward young person as an apprentice, contact Susannah. (Business Engagement Manager)