Aspire II

NEW FOR 2016

A consortium of London housing associations have teamed up with the Foundation and the Croydon Partnership to launch a bold programme aimed to get disengaged local young people into sustainable employment.

Badged as ‘Aspire II’ the programme aims to work with young people who are furthest away from the labour market because of a history with crime or a difficult upbringing.

The programme aims to break down disengagement with education and/or training by providing positive routes to market and a means of overcoming hurdles that have proved to test a young persons development path.

Aspire II will look to engage with up to 90 young people on the ground, across our local South London boroughs, and pledges to get a percentage of those youngsters into sustainable employment.

Key to the project is an intensive 12-week programme that will see young people receive training in a range of subjects and learn useful ‘life tools’ that are applicable to the workplace. The Palace for Life Foundation team will be on hand with wrap around support and mentoring, which will provide pathways in to coaching and youth work.

The Palace for Life Foundation is a major contributor to Croydon’s Community Sports Sector and will provide the participants with the support structure they need to succeed within this industry as football coaches, youth workers or community mentors.

The intention is that this will also open the door to other work experience opportunities and apprenticeships, in employment sectors such as business, retail, construction or administration, as the participants develop an interest for what job prospects excite them the most.

The project builds on a programme that was delivered in partnership with the City Bridge Trust, Croydon Voluntary Action and the Croydon Council in 2012, which targeted ex-offenders in their redevelopment and transition after serving prison sentences and supported them in to full time employment or education.

The Aspire II programme will work alongside: Croydon based Amicus Horizon, London and Quadrant, Orbit and Viridian.

The hope is that this innovative partnership will go some way to providing a catalyst for other housing associations, construction companies and local businesses to get involved in these type of community based projects and provide some real momentum for Croydon’s regeneration process.

A spokesperson for the consortia of housing associations, speaking on behalf of the partnership, said:

“Each housing association view ourselves as firmly part of the regeneration that is taking place locally. Our objective is not only to provide high quality housing for our residents but to ensure we do everything possible to guarantee that they have opportunities for the future.”

Steve Yewman, Development Director for Westfield and co-chair of the Croydon Partnership (part sponsors of the programme), said:

“Croydon will soon be experiencing a rapid and positive process of change that will see the creation of over 23,000 jobs and 8,300 new homes. The cornerstone of the regeneration is the £1?billion development to replace the Whitgift shopping centre. It’s vital that young people growing up in Croydon feel that they are part of the regeneration process. It really is very encouraging to see partner housing associations take the lead in demonstrating how this can be achieved.”

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