Although it’s been rum for a while for young people in the UK, the more digging we’ve been doing, the more awesome organisations we’ve been discovering that help folks from disadvantaged backgrounds get to where they want to go. We’re thrilled that we are part of a growing community of organisations that exist to support young people fulfil their potential.
If you are aged 16–24, if you are passionate about pursuing a career that is ethical, progressive, socially- or environmentally-minded, and if you can show a clear need for our programme—well, we could be the one for you. Our idea of a good job is shown in that little circle thing to the side. You can find these ‘good’ jobs in almost every sector: you don’t have to want to work for a charity, we swear. You could work in a bank, in local government, in a record label, in a fashion house… We’re also into working with small- and medium-sized businesses, not mammoth corporations—although we appreciate that this isn’t everyone’s bag. But if you’re on our wavelength, then go ahead and apply!
Not everyone wants to do this sort of thing. You have to do what is right for YOU. And we are not right for everyone, by any means. If you fall outside our age group or you want to do something different, fear not! We know about lots of other supermegaawesome organisations and websites who might be better placed to help you.
Whether you know the career you want or whether you have no idea, or if you’re just looking for some interesting work or an internship, then read on to find out our recommendations…
If you know what you career you want:
The talented and experienced team at DV8 training provide free courses for 14–18 year olds in Sussex and London who are wanting to move into creative industry jobs such as music and media. And if you know you’re set on the music industry but not within DV8’s catchment, then Music4Good is a great place to start. Catch 22 is a fantastic social enterprise that helps young people get started with a career in journalism. So, any budding writers who want a great boost should go check them out. If your heart is set on the arts (see what we did there?) then looking around Ideas Tap should be the first thing that you do.
TAG (Transforming A Generation) provides a 6 month training programme to help young people get a career going in the fitness industry. So, if you’re a health nut, you should go wrestle with them, or something. If you’re seeking a job in the PR world and are a BAME graduate, then the Taylor Bennett Foundation could help too.
If you want to start your own business, the folks behind The Bright Ideas Trust are the people to go to. You could also check out Virgin Media Pioneers for support too. And if you know that you’d like to end up in one the swanky skyscrapers in Canary Wharf, London, then you should get in touch with the folks behind Fastlaners. Or perhaps you know you’ve got leadership potential, but you want to sync to improving community and society? If you’re based in Birmingham or East London then UpRising could be a great launchpad for you.
Another awesome option is to look into YouYou Mentoring: they work with 17–21 year olds and provide amazing mentors across a variety of professions, including photography, conservation and hospitality.
If you’re not sure what career you want just yet…
If you’re wanting to have a little guidance but not yet sure what you want to do then you should check out the safe, online mentoring services provided by the brilliant HorsesMouth. For more structured support and guidance, including an amazing range of courses and training programmes, there is no organisation more established than The Prince’s Trust.
Whether you’re a GCSE, A-Level or uni student, The Student Room is a fast-growing student community with tons of peer-to-peer support. If you want to go to university, come from a disadvantaged background and need help understanding your options, there are a number of organisations out there that could help. The Access Project prepares young people prepare in applying to top universities. The Social Mobility Foundation has similar aims. And The Brilliant Club places PhD students in inner-city schools to inspire and support sixth-formers to apply to the best universities.
Regardless of your academic ability, the Helena Kennedy Foundation provides bursaries to disadvantaged young people who want to undertake an undergraduate course. The Brightside Trust provides ementoring and support for young people in education, and helps prepare them for working life. And the energetic Arts Emergency Service can help anyone who wants to pursue an arts degree but is confused, fearful of the costs, the outcome etc.
For young people who want to take a route to working life other than going via university, Not Going To Uni is a fantastic resource. As is The School of Everything: a website that help you find something new to learn wherever you are in the UK.
If you’re looking for a job or to gain work experience:
First of all remember that internships and work placements should be paid. We have an opinion and some suggestions about this, and you can read all about ‘em if you’d like! However, we’re not the experts. For great advice, information and resources check out Internocracy and Internaware.
If you’re looking for interesting work experience placements, Freelance Students and Enternships are both useful starting points. The former is particularly good for people looking for creative jobs, and the latter for any experience in start-ups or entrepreneurial businesses. You can also check out the work experience section on Prospects, as recommended by the National Council for Work Experience. And any graduate is nuts not to have a look around Graduate Fog: a great website that helps make the murky world of job-seeking a whole lot clearer…
Who have we missed? If there’s anyone who should be included, tell us. We’re all about spreading the word…