What can be done to prevent young people becoming NEET?
Levels of NEET young people in London are at crisis point and the debate about how best to tackle the issue is recurring headline news. With tough welfare measures being announced by Ed Miliband later this week, we ask; ‘What can be done to prevent young people from becoming NEET in the first place?”
It seems a lot can be learnt from existing services, such as the Create+ programme, which has a track record of helping young people back into education and work.
Create+ is a creative educational youth programme, designed by Westminster based charity, Vital Regeneration, to address the issues faced by young people who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET.
The charity has recently launched an Independent Evaluation Report, commissioned by sponsor, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and conducted by ACCENDO and The Centre for Institutional Studies, University of East London, which offers real insight into why the programme is so successful.
During the launch event for the report, Emma Ahmad from ACCENDO said; “Create+ is an excellent model, flexible to individual needs of young people. I saw participants voice their anger and experiences through lyric writing; I saw them gaining emotional literacy. Each young person achieves a range of outcomes which are best suited to their needs, it's not one-size fits all”.
The report, and subsequent feedback at the launch event, demonstrates just how effective the charity’s Create+ model is in engaging with young people, even when they have a long history of educational under-achievement, disengagement or challenging behaviour.
Alice Sampson, University of East London said that; “Vital Regeneration is robust, very well run with a good management ethos. This adds value to Create+ in terms of financial systems, monitoring arrangements and training”. She also said; “Create+ goes into existing organisations to deliver interventions which is unique in Westminster”.
Hang Ho, Vice President, J.P. Morgan, echoes this feedback by saying; “We've all heard and seen escalating youth unemployment in the media. Vital Regeneration has a proven track record for providing engaging and effective programmes that equip young people from more deprived neighbourhoods with the tools to aspire and achieve in education”.
Guests at the event had the opportunity to hear from the Create+ team, who shared how they innovatively run courses; in urban music production, film-making and graphic design, as creative ‘hooks’ to support young people to gain qualifications and re-engage with education and training. They also got to meet and hear from some of the young people who have benefited from the programme.
Anslem Herelle, Create+ Manager concluded by saying; “We know that Create+ is an excellent programme because we see first hand how it helps young people succeed but this report acknowledges our success so far and marks the need for Create+ to continue long into the future. We are very excited about growing Create+ year on year; it is our aim to work intensively and make a difference to the lives of around 150 NEET young people every year”.
Notes to editors
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Create+ External evaluation (DOWNLOAD LINK):
The purpose of the research conducted by Accendo and The Centre for Institutional Studies, University of East London between September 2011 and January 2012, was to independently assess the affect of the Create+ project on the lives of young people who are not in education, training and employment (NEET) and those ‘at risk’ of becoming NEET.
Create+ is designed to address the issues faced by young people who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET – a consistent national problem that is exacerbated by the current economic climate; 12% of young people living in Inner London Boroughs are NEET (London’s Poverty Profile July 2010).
Create+ reaches young people who are considered ‘hard to reach’ through a very flexible and mobile delivery model, allowing the team to move in response to need and add value to mainstream provision.
Create+ integrates with Pupil Referral, Respite and Re-engagement units and Youth and Community Centres, working extensively with Connexions, Youth Offending Teams and Targeted Youth Support Workers to ensure complementary intervention with existing provision.
Each Create+ course consists of 10-12 weeks of intensive, creative multi-media activities, alongside this it provides ongoing career advice and guidance, underpinned with essential literacy and numeracy skills.
Three highly skilled staff, consisting of a multi-media practitioner, a trained youth worker and a specialist literacy and numeracy teacher, deliver Create+ to small groups of ten young people at a time. This is a great advantage for young people who feel left behind in mainstream, large class, settings. Together the team provides each young person with a fully ‘hands-on’ enjoyable and individual experience alongside access to state of the art equipment, including Apple Mac laptops, music keyboards and filming equipment.
Through participating on Create+, young people gain qualifications, such as the Bronze Arts Award and literacy qualifications, and are given opportunities to visit cultural events and exhibitions. On completion, the groups showcase their work at high profile venues and develop leadership skills through sharing what they have achieved with peers.
As shown in the evaluation report, the result is that young people develop confidence and communication skills, helping them to re-engage in learning, find work or get onto an apprenticeship.
A few of the key findings of the Create+ report show that
- 100% of survey respondents said that since doing the Create+ courses they felt better about themselves
- 90% of students felt that they had made progress with their reading and writing skills
- 95% made new friends on the course, helping them to feel good about themselves and making them less socially isolated
- 70% agreed that Create+ helped them think through what they wanted to do for a job or a career
About Vital Regeneration:
Vital Regeneration is a registered charity working to transform London's most deprived neighbourhoods. They focus most of their work in Westminster where they develop social, environmental and economic programmes. Their vision is for everyone to have equal expectations and opportunities in life and not to be seriously disadvantaged by where they live.
Interested in supporting projects like Create+?
Vital Regeneration works in partnership with businesses like J.P. Morgan to affect positive and lasting social change in the London community. For more information on working with Vital Regeneration in this way please contact our Corporate Partnerships Manager, Emma Rembalski on firstname.lastname@example.org