With the effects of the pandemic felt acutely by young Londoners seeking work, The Independent and Evening Standard started a campaign at the end of 2021 to tackle youth unemployment in the capital.
A joint investigation by the two news brands into employment in London found that one in five young residents seeking work are jobless – a rate six times higher than the national rate at all ages.
To address this, they launched the Skill Up Step Up campaign to help disadvantaged youth to get their first step on their career ladder.
The campaign saw the news brands partner with Barclays, which had already donated £1m to provide grants to a select group of charities offering employment training to jobless young people.
The initiative is now encouraging employers to make offers for jobs and apprenticeships, and readers are also being asked to donate to help fund the scheme.
By the end of January 2022, almost a dozen employers had pledged to hire 119 disadvantaged young Londoners who have been upskilled by Springboard, the charity funded as part of the campaign. Nando’s added another 10 to take the number of positions past the 300 mark in June.
We are calling on employers to step up to the plate with job or apprenticeship offers and we are asking you, our readers, to donate what you can.Evening Standard’s proprietor and major shareholder in The Independent Lord Evgeny Lebedev at the launch of the campaign
As we negotiate the twists and turns of this pandemic, we must make sure that nobody is left behind. We can’t let our city’s disadvantaged youth fall through the cracks.”