CITY YEAR UK has unveiled new figures showing how it is helping young people. In partnership with Aramark, it is one year into a new recruitment programme focused on identifying new, high performing volunteers to support young people in school.
Through City Year UK, young people volunteer for a year to tackle educational inequality and gain skills which could help them gain future employment. In comparison to last year, the charity has had a 35 per cent increase in the number of young people who have applied early and accepted offers of a place on the programme. The increase comes after Aramark’s support has enabled the charity to widen its recruitment strategy to attract school and university leavers for its 240 volunteering opportunities across London, Birmingham and Manchester.
It means that City Year UK has been able to offer city-specific information sessions to build relationships with career advisers, invest in online marketing and bring on board a recruitment coordinator in Manchester. The charity has attended over 140 events on campus since last autumn, attracting interest from 1,200 young people who’ve registered to find out more about a volunteer service year. Aramark has also provided invaluable pro bono help, with staff contributing expertise into City Year UK’s review of its recruitment and training strategy, delivering inspiring careers sessions to corps members and offering work experience.
City Year UK, which launched in London in 2010, recruits 18-25 year olds, known as corps members, to give a year as role models, mentors and tutors to support pupils to succeed at inner-city schools. It also offers young people a rewarding path to employment and a way out of the catch 22 too many find themselves in: ‘no experience, no job; no job, no experience’. A training and careers programme is built into the year ensuring that 92 per cent of volunteers go onto further education or employment within three months of leaving. 95 per cent say that their ‘City Year’ experience prepared them for the world of work.
Current City Year UK corps member, Gerald Palmer, recently spent four days work shadowing Aramark’s Human Resources team. He says: “My schedule was packed with activities and opportunities to learn, all tailored to my interest in diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I gained a great deal of knowledge on the different areas that make up Human Resources. I now have a better understanding of the specific areas I would like to go into, as well as those I would like to know more about. This is a great opportunity that will really help with my career development.”
“This partnership is a true demonstration of Aramark’s commitment to enrich and nourish lives” said Andrew Main, Aramark’s UK Chief Executive. “A ‘City Year’ enables school and university leavers to develop ‘soft’ skills that many employers are crying out for. Aramark is committed to helping people find fulfilling work and by partnering with City Year UK we can assist 18-25 year olds, like Gerald, to secure that critical first step in their career.”
Sophie Livingstone, Chief Executive of City Year UK, said: “Research has shown that as increasing numbers of young people are seeking work in the service sector, customer facing skills are vital to their success. A year spent volunteering through a programme like City Year not only offers an immensely rewarding, once in a lifetime, experience but can also open doors career-wise. Partnership with Aramark is enabling us to cast our net wider, so we extend this unique opportunity to many more young people.”