Andron Facilities Management is thrilled to announce its new partnership with Drive Forward Foundation, a UK-based charity that supports care-experienced young people aged 16-26 in London transition from care into a career.
Andron and Drive Forward Foundation will provide learning, training, and employment opportunities for care-experienced young people through Andron’s Inclusive Futures employment programme.
About Andron’s Inclusive Futures
Inclusive Futures is an ongoing initiative providing life-changing employment opportunities to people furthest from the job market, including care-experienced young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET) and people with a background of homelessness.
Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds have enormous potential but are often overlooked and refused access to the labour market due to significant barriers and stigma surrounding their ability to secure and sustain employment. Working with charities such as Drive Forward Foundation and Social Bite – who provide wrap-around support to our Inclusive Futures recruits – Andron is breaking down some of the many barriers people from disadvantaged backgrounds face and providing local jobs to those often excluded from the traditional job market.
Through Inclusive Futures, Andron and its charity partners are challenging bias and championing systematic change towards a job market that is equal, inclusive, and diverse.
Barriers facing care-experienced young people
Andron believes every young person deserves the opportunity to reach their potential, regardless of their background. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many of the 10,000 young people who leave the care system every year, moving into adulthood following a period in local authority care.
According to the most recent figures from the Department for Education, care-experienced young people are significantly more likely to experience unemployment than their peers. Currently:
- 41% of care leavers are not in employment, education, or training (NEET). This statistic is considerably higher than among young people in general; 12% of those aged 18 to 24 are NEET
- Care leavers are less likely to secure permanent employment, with just 23% in permanent roles compared to 38% of their peers
Add to this that care leavers make up 25% of the homeless population and nearly 25% of the adult prison population, and it is clear care leavers face substantial barriers in making a positive transition into the labour market. Sadly, these numbers have mostly stayed the same over the past decade.
Our Plan for change
Andron and Drive Forward Foundation have ambitious plans to provide care-experienced young people with the tools and support they need to overcome these barriers and secure meaningful long-term employment. All while raising awareness of the inequalities care leavers face.
In a relationship-based approach, Andron and Drive Forward Foundation will provide care-experienced young people in London with the following:
- Full-time cleaning-based roles in Andron’s prestigious client properties across London, including Regent Street and St James’
- A London Living Wage
- Work experience, training, and development opportunities
- Support with CVs, job applications and interviews
- Long-term 1-2-1 career and life guidance and personal growth
- Bespoke mentoring and guidance
To ensure holistic workplace support, Andron’s management team have received care-experienced training from Drive Forward. This training gives managers an in-depth insight into what it means to be care experienced so they can better support individuals, taking into account individual circumstances.
Cheryl Stewart, Director, Andron FM, said:
“At Andron, we know diversity and inclusivity are critical to our success, and we are committed to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. Care-experienced young people face a unique set of challenges compared to their peers so our aim is to provide a supportive and inclusive work environment where they can develop new skills, gain valuable experience, and build a successful career.
We are excited to embark on this journey with Drive Forward Foundation and look forward to making a positive impact on the lives of care-experienced young people.”
Anton Babey, CEO of Drive Forward Foundation, added:
“As a care leavers charity, our mission has always been to empower and support the most vulnerable members of our society. This new partnership represents an important step forward in achieving that mission. We are excited to be working with Andron and look forward to the positive impact we can create together.”
More on Drive Forward Foundation and their impact on care-experienced young people
Drive Forward Foundation is a UK-registered charity that enables children and young people (16 – 26) with experience in foster or residential care to achieve their full potential through sustainable and fulfilled employment, education, and training. Following a relationship-based approach, they provide long-term 1-2-1 career and life guidance, personal development, skills-building training, bespoke counselling, and mentoring.
A vast network of diverse corporate partners allows Drive Forward to offer ring-fenced learning, training, and employment opportunities tailored to individuals’ needs, career goals and aspirations.
21-year-old Tanisha, who landed a job with the Civil Service thanks to Drive Forward Foundation, had this to say about the charity:
“Before I met Nicholl at Drive Forward, my life was a mess. I wanted to give up, but because of all the opportunities they offer, I didn’t have a chance to feel down. Nicholl was working every day to find something to give my life meaning again, and she succeeded.”