City Gateway is excited to be launching a programme with support from JP Morgan, to open doors to young people in some of East London’s communities most impacted by social and economic inequality.

The City Gateway and JP Morgan collaboration occupies a unique space. It seeks to harness the opportunity found in growth industries by bringing local employers into the NEET youth employment conversation; delivering curriculum areas to equip young people for jobs in these industries, and supporting young people, often from vulnerable situations, to progress and realise their potential.

Through partnership, we will produce a model which is beneficial for the individual, for society and for the economy.

There are currently 20,000 NEET young people (Not in Education, Employment or Training) aged 16-24 in East London. In Tower Hamlets alone, this can intersect with material factors, as close to half of all children in the borough are living in poverty.

Alongside this, 23% of all current vacant posts in London are due to a lack of applicants with the right skills. Over the next 5 years, 42% of businesses in London are concerned that they will not recruit the right skills needed for business.

These skills shortages are expected particularly in industries which are growing: for example, the number of jobs in the Tech industry in the UK has growth at twice the rate of non-Tech jobs, with growth seen at 22% over the last 5 years.

The recent apprenticeship reforms present an opportunity for businesses to train young people with the skills needed for the future. Tying into the Government’s agenda for tackling youth unemployment, the aim is for 2 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. Although this landscape is new and unfolding, it does mean that apprenticeships have become increasingly ‘front of mind’ for employers. Young people will have the opportunity to access more tailored and meaningful ‘hands-on’ training – and employers have the chance to nurture their future talent pipelines.

This landscape presents an exciting opportunity for growth. Those young people who are long-term NEET however disproportionately face additional barriers to accessing work. These barriers often include low formal qualifications and skills, low self-esteem, financial constraints, unstable housing and poor mental health. NEET young people may also lack the social capital and long-term thinking to enable them to plan for their future careers.

City Gateway aims to close the gap between the potential found in local young people, and the opportunity found in the City. They do this through supporting NEET young people with accredited qualifications, professional insights and 1:1 Coaching to remove or manage personal barriers. Helped by the support of J.P. Morgan, they will open doors for those young people who have the potential to be our future leaders.