Local young people and employers recently gathered together to celebrate the success of Hackney 100: a year-long project which enabled young people from Hackney to gain meaningful, paid work experience.
The Hackney 100 programme targets 16-19 year olds with a Hackney connection (resident, student or care leaver). It aims to help growth industries in the borough, such as tech and media, connect with the local community. Most importantly, it helped to equip local young people with the skills and experience needed for future success.
Inspire! partnered with Hackney Council to deliver the programme in 2017-18. Over 300 young people signed up to take part, attending assessment sessions and workshops to help them prepare for the workplace. 32 local employers provided meaningful placements at their organisations.
Amazon UK, a participating employer, provided their stylish Shoreditch office as event space for the celebration. Inspire!’s own Hackney 100 employee, 18 year old Beverley, took on the challenge of organising and presenting the event. With help from the Mayor of Hackney, she congratulated participants and presented achievement awards. From ‘most likely to be a billionaire’ to ‘best mentor’, both young people and employers were awarded for going the extra mile.
Programme Manager, Ayeisha Hayes, was delighted at the success of the event: “I am incredibly proud of all the young people, they have shown such enthusiasm, resilience, passion and determination! Beverley has been an amazing addition to Inspire!…It only felt right to give her the opportunity to showcase everything she had learnt in her placement by organising the Hackney100 event.”
The impact of the project went far beyond the evening, however. 100% of those who undertook a placement had a better understanding of work, and over 98% felt they had developed the skills and qualities employers look for.
Mayor Philip Glanville commented on the importance of projects like Hackney 100 for local people: “We felt that people in Hackney, whatever their backgrounds, deserved the opportunities that the well-networked get all too easily. We are all familiar with how the borough is changing, and this is one of the Council’s responses to that change. The tech, digital and creative industries are really growing here, creating employment. We wanted to make sure that they weren’t just creating employment for other people coming into the borough.”
Building on this year’s success, both Inspire! and the Council are aiming to support more young people into employment. While the Council will be relaunching the Hackney 100 for 2019, Inspire! will be launching a new project to provide similar opportunities for disadvantaged young people in Camden and Islington. We’re also planning more paid work placements for young people from Hackney as part of HeadStart Action.
Visit our Instagram page to see some success stories from the project!