New partnership aims to promote social mobility in Manchester

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RSA Insurance has today announced a two-year partnership in Manchester with leading national youth work charity UK Youth, dedicated to promoting social mobility and helping young people to access fulfilling careers.

The ‘Building Aspirations Programme’ will support 120 young people a year through an employability skills curriculum, with access to a scholarship fund towards additional training courses or to cover the cost of equipment.

UK Youth represents a network of more than 8,000 organisations and partners focused on unlocking youth work as the catalyst for positive change in the lives of young people.

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The partnership is designed to support young people furthest from the job market and often at a disadvantage when it comes to gaining employment - rates of disadvantaged young people in Manchester and Liverpool not in education, employment or training (NEET) are twice as high as the national average.

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The transformational programme will be delivered through four local youth work organisations –Greater Manchester Youth Network and Rise Up, both in Manchester, and Liverpool-based Merseyside Community Training and Youth Fed - who will receive training and mentoring, to enable them to deliver a UK Youth-designed employability curriculum and build networks with local employers.

RSA colleagues will have the opportunity to support and mentor youth workers, sharing their knowledge and experience, as well as helping them make connections amongst their local business networks. They will also directly engage with young people providing career insights. For local young people not in education or employment, this opportunity will ensure a greater readiness and confidence to set their career goals, and access to expanded local networks of businesses and support.

RSA recognises the role of youth work in improving young people’s wellbeing, essential skills and educational outcomes. The support of youth workers can play an invaluable role in the lives of young people, as trusted adults, friends and supporters and in helping to guide a young person towards their choice of future career.

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RSA is launching the partnership at this year’s annual BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Association) Conference in Manchester and will be holding a launch event at The Edwardian Manchester Hotel on Wednesday, May 15, at 4.30pm.

Georgina Farrell, RSA chief people officer, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled about this partnership - I have a profound respect for youth work and all that it achieves. We’ve such a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm amongst our colleagues at RSA, and a well-established practice of giving back and volunteering time in our local communities. I’m really excited to get fully immersed into the Building Aspirations Programme and help by transferring the skills of my day job to uplift talent support young people in the North West to achieve their goals and their career potential.”

Ndidi Okezie OBE, UK Youth chief executive officer, said: "We’re delighted to partner with RSA Insurance in our mission to empower young people and promote social mobility. Together, we will create tangible opportunities for those who are not accessing education, employment or training to thrive and succeed.

“Through this strategic partnership, RSA Insurance and UK Youth are poised to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people across the UK, working towards our vision for every young person to not only thrive, but actively contribute to their communities, driving positive change and building a more resilient and prosperous society for generations to come.”

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