New funding from Youth Futures Foundation

22 February 2021

UpRising and One Million Mentors are delighted to announce they have been awarded a grant by the Youth Futures Foundation. The £795,000 award will support us in our work to help young people to develop the knowledge, skills and networks they need to secure meaningful employment by funding our employability and mentoring programmes. The programmes will be run entirely online and will support young people in a socially distanced manner at a time of unprecedented national economic crisis.

UpRising was established in 2008 at the Young Foundation and became an independent charity in 2013. It’s mission is to develop the leadership, campaigning and employability skills of young people from diverse backgrounds. Since then, we have supported thousands of young people directly and enabled them to enter a wider range of professions in the media, politics as well as the public, private and not for profit sectors. Our social action campaigns have involved over 16,000 young people in communities across the country.

UpRising’s Fastlaners & One Million Mentors programme is designed to offer participants bespoke support in developing their employability skills and the confidence they need to secure employment. The programme is free for participants and runs entirely online. Throughout the programme, participants are introduced to different employers, giving them a unique opportunity to explore what it’s like to work in a variety of sectors. Participants also have access to resources to support them to develop their CV and cover letters, as well as access to a professional mentor who can offer one to one career support and advice. These opportunities are more important now than ever, with young people being hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The programme is also being supported by Manchester based charity, Reclaim who power young, working-class people to create change.

Kian, who recently graduated from the Fastlaners programme, said that the skills and knowledge he developed during Fastlaners helped him to find employment and go on to set up his own business. Shazelle benefitted from one-to-one support from a trained mentor and shared the benefits of talking about her anxieties around her career and how it's been affected by Covid-19.

The Youth Futures Foundation was established to find, fund, support and evaluate programmes which help young people to move into meaningful work. Unemployment amongst 16-24-year olds is currently four times as high as any other age group; those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds face the biggest challenge in getting a job.

Youth Futures Foundation’s Chief Executive, Anna Smee, commented:

We are delighted to support UpRising and One Million Mentors in their work on the Fastlaners employability programme. Youth Futures Foundation is committed to a society where all young people have equitable access to good quality jobs, by identifying ‘what works’, investing in good practice and initiating new ways of working – to ignite systems change. This partnership will support our ambitions and help to deliver our vision.

UpRising’s Co-founder and Chair, Rushanara Ali MP said:

At a time when too many young people, through no fault of their own, are struggling to find jobs, programmes like Fastlaners and One Million Mentors provide much-needed intensive support. Our programme helps participants gain the skills and confidence they need in a competitive jobs market. Funding such as this from the Youth Futures Foundation is crucial if we are to continue supporting young people and help turn the tide against the rising disaster of youth unemployment.