How Tesco and The Prince’s Trust encourage young people to dream big.
According to official estimates, the under-25s lost more than half of their jobs during the first year of the Covid crisis.
Those from poor backgrounds have been hurt the most, according to research by the Social Market Foundation, which was funded by Tesco. They are less optimistic and confident in their capacity to achieve their life objectives.
Even before the pandemic, young people from low-income or disadvantaged families were 18 months behind their peers in terms of schooling and twice as likely to be absent from school,* both of which can have a significant impact on career prospects – and the gap is now at risk of growing.
Tesco has pledged to assist 45,000 young people, regardless of their background, in developing employability skills and launching their careers over the next year. It has also extended its association with The Prince’s Trust, a charity that assists young people aged 11 to 30 in finding work, education, and training, for another five years, allowing it to reach thousands more young people.
“We can’t have a two-tier system where certain young people have the skills and confidence to succeed while others are left behind,” says Natasha Adams, Tesco’s chief people officer. “We, as employers, must do our part to ensure that the odds do not remain stacked against them.” Pre-employment programs that help young people develop their skills and confidence at a young age are critical.” The Achieve program, which helps thousands of young people re-engage with education, improve their confidence, and acquire the skills they need to thrive in the classroom and beyond, is conducted by the Trust in schools and colleges for 11 to 19-year-olds.
Tesco, a long-time supporter of the program, is now sponsoring 100 new Achieve Clubs in places where young people are most in need, as well as offering online content and lesson plans in areas like digital skills and mental health to the Trust’s worldwide club network.
According to Jo Heffernan, one of the leaders of the Achieve program and an operations executive in The Prince’s Trust education division, much of the work done within the clubs tries to develop a can-do mentality.
For a variety of causes, young people may be referred to the program. They could be struggling in school, have specific educational requirements, or be dealing with problems at home.
Heffernan notes, “A lot of the young kids we work with are facing enormous obstacles and don’t trust in themselves.” “The Achieve Clubs put that to the test by asking, ‘What do you want to do, and how can we help you get there?’ It’s all about shifting the perspective from “I can’t” to “I can.”