The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has awarded two contracts worth up to £7 million from the Innovation Fund to two social investment partnerships established by Social Finance. The Social Impact Bonds will fund interventions to work with around 2,500 14-15 year olds who are disadvantaged or at risk of disadvantage to help them participate and succeed in education or training and thereby improve their employability.
The programmes will be delivered by Adviza in the Thames Valley and Teens and Toddlers in the North West of England. This is an exciting opportunity to engage a wide range of social investors and work with social organisations who deliver effective programmes to raise the aspirations of young people.
The DWP Innovation Fund is part of a series of government measures to tackle youth unemployment. The DWP has identified a number of outcomes against which the contracts will be measured including improved behaviour, school attendance, educational qualifications and employment opportunities. Outcomes payments from the Innovation Fund will be paid over three and half years. Unlike typical social service delivery, the funding is provided at risk by social investors, including Bridges Ventures, Big Society Capital, Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Impetus Trust, whose financial return is aligned to the positive social impact of meeting pre-agreed educational, training and employment outcomes.
Through the Social Impact Bond funding, Adviza will deliver an innovative three year programme working with 14 and 15 year olds across the Thames Valley called Energise. The programme is designed to build resilience, confidence and aspiration to enable vulnerable young people to progress in their lives particularly in terms of education and work. Energise will work with young people in Aylesbury, Banbury, Bracknell, Oxford, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Reading and Slough as well as with disadvantaged groups in more rural areas. The programme will target training and support to young people from the following groups: those with family issues, young offenders, young people in care, care leavers, substance misusers, those with mental health issues and young carers.
It is hoped 1500 young people will go through the project with varying levels of support. The Energise programme looks to build-knowledge and confidence through 1-2-1 guidance and group works, residential activities and mentoring. Katharine Horler, Adviza’s Chief Executive commented, “We are genuinely excited about this project as it is a chance to work with young people at a stage in their lives when the support can make a real difference.”
Teens and Toddlers will roll out a well-established programme for over 1,100 at risk 14-15 year olds across the North West of England. The programme includes teenagers acting as role models to vulnerable toddlers in a safe and supervised nursery environment, helping them to build a sense of responsibility; Classroom sessions focused on anger and behavioural management, emotional intelligence (including self- management and social skills) and barriers to achievement, such as bullying and understanding the impact of risky behaviours; an accredited NCFE Level 1 Award in Interpersonal Skills; and support with individual work plans right through until GCSEs.
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