Tomorrow's People

Maxwell Bruce is a corporate partner of Tomorrow's People, a national charity which improves the lives of unemployed men, women and young people by helping them into lasting work. Since it was founded in 1984, Tomorrow's People has helped over 440,000 people into jobs, education or training.

Scotland has always been a priority for Tomorrow's People and the main focus is the needs of young people. Working It Out is a highly successful programme which works with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. The young people who join the programme have few qualifications and poor life and social skills; some are homeless, many have been in care and most come from workless families, they lead chaotic and complex lives.

Working It Out in Scotland is funded entirely by the generous donations from supporters and is currently operational in Glasgow, Inverclyde and Edinburgh - reaching 180 young people every year. In 2012 the programme will be expanded to Ayrshire.

Each Working It Out group comprises of 12 young people, aged 16-24 who volunteer to participate in a 16 week project. Central to the success of the programme is the 'Community Challenge' which helps to change perceptions of the young people and community members about each other and means that, often for the first time, participants engage with local people in a positive way and take pride in their ability to make a difference.

The aim of Working It Out is to develop social, life and work skills in disadvantaged young people and help them overcome multiple barriers and build a path to economic independence. The young people who participate in the Working It Out programme are those that other agencies and charities find hardest-to-reach. The mix of structured, practical support with personal and social development that this programme offers is designed to equip young people on the edge of society with the tools they need to move forward with their lives.

The effects on society of young people not in employment, education or training are well documented by the Scottish Government, with increased levels of crime, poor health and housing among the many implications. Working It Out benefits the public by producing more engaged and motivated young people who are able to make a positive contribution. They also benefit from more cohesive communities and young people who become active citizens.

The Working It Out model is simple and it achievements are impressive.

  • 80 percent of young people who join the programme graduate after completing the full 16 weeks course
  • 79 percent of these young people who complete the programme move into employment, further education or training (45% into work 32% into training and 23% into education)
  • 77 percent are still in employment, further education or training 6 months after finishing the programme
  • Working It Out is good value for money, in terms of social return on investment, with a ratio of 1:3 (for every £1 invested there was a return on investment of £3)

*Independent report, Tank Consulting, May 2010

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