Over 250 young people facing disadvantage across London will be mentored by top athletes as part of a pioneering employability programme – supported by a number of partners including London South East Colleges.
The ‘Getting Back on Track’ initiative is a 10-week programme, being led by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which aims to support young people into work and deliver sustained employment.
In addition to mentoring from Olympic, Paralympic and world class athletes, young people on the scheme will take part in work experience opportunities at 50 London businesses.
As one of the programme’s delivery partners, London South East Colleges will be supporting the young people, helping them access the scheme and providing Information and guidance.
Young people across Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley, Southwark and Lewisham will have access to the initiative initially.
The programme was launched today at a reception at City Hall. Keynote speeches were given by from Joanne McCartney AM (Deputy Mayor of London) and Dame Kelly Holmes (Founder and President at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust).
Dame Kelly Holmes said: “We believe as a charity that every young person –no matter what their background or current circumstances – has the potential to lead a positive life, which includes being able to enjoy career success.
“One of the biggest things we hear from industry is that young people arrive with a lack of soft skills, which leads to challenges with performance and retention. Our trained athlete mentors have the proven ability to unlock the attitudes and behaviours needed to be successful in the workplace, which includes traits such as confidence, motivation, determination and resilience.
“Employers who recruit from our programmes are consistently impressed by their talent and focus, despite not always having the best start in life. Most importantly, our young people find themselves being given opportunities and progression that they might once never have thought possible.”
Sam Parrett, Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges said: “London South East Colleges is delighted to be involved with this excellent initiative. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will be given an amazing opportunity to be mentored by top athletes – helping to develop the crucial employability skills that businesses need.
“By working closely with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and other delivery partners. we can help ensure that every single young person on the programme reaches their full potential.”