Roehampton youth unemployment to be tackled with new training for work initiative


The Street Elite programme uses sport as a form of training for work.


By Molly Kersey

A unique ‘training for work’ initiative which combines sport and mentoring to inspire and motivate young people currently not in education, employment or training will be coming to Roehampton later this year. 

The Street Elite programme is delivered by Cricket for Change, working staff from the Berkley Group and the MET Police, and uses sport as a form of training for work.

The scheme targets 16-24 year olds and consists of three main stages, the first of which is an intensive 12 week sports training and mentoring scheme to give young people the opportunity to learn about the Sport for Development Industry and recognised coaching qualifications.

They are then given the chance to test the skills they have learnt and deliver sports sessions at local housing estates, before finally hosting a one day sports festival involving a large number of local schools and hundreds of young participants.    

The programme has seen huge success rates since it began two years ago and 79% of the participants have now moved into education, training or employment.

“Four out of five people taking part in Street Elite complete the programme and then get a job or a place at college. It shows you the power of combining sport and youth work,” said Si Ledwith, Street Elite Programme Manager.

Those who complete the programme are given work experience opportunities and some of the young people who carried out placements in the Berkeley Group building sites or project offices were offered employment as a result.  

London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross said: “I think it’s clearly an interesting initiative and I look forward to seeing what the results are.”

However Ms Twycross added that for many young people, the problem is a lack of job opportunities available to them. 

“While initiatives are really welcome the heart of the problem facing many young people today is that there are not enough jobs to go around,” she said.     

There are currently over 100,000 16-24 year olds classified as NEET in London alone and youth unemployment is a widespread problem throughout the UK.

Street Elite targets the large number of young people who are often not in the benefits system and do not have a public agency claiming any responsibility for them, visiting boroughs where youth unemployment has been a particular problem.   

The programme will be promoted at a breakfast seminar in Vauxhall on November 5, where a discussion on how to tackle youth unemployment will also take place.

For more information call Si Ledwith on 020 8669 2177 or email [email protected]

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