London City Airport has today announced that it has launched a new mentoring programme to raise young peoples aspirations, help tackle youth unemployment and promote social mobility in the local communities near the airport.
Image courtesy London City Airport
In partnership with 15BillionEBP, staff from the airport will volunteer to mentor local students in East London at risk of leaving school with low attainment and becoming NEET, with the aim to help young people to fulfil their potential and prepare them for leaving education and entering the world of work.
Staff from the airport will volunteer and be trained as mentors by 15BillionEBP, coaching young people via bespoke sessions aimed at fostering resilience, increasing motivation and breaking the cycle of low attainment, social inequality and deprivation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the airport’s local communities in East London. In particular, the school closures meant that many students from disadvantaged backgrounds missed out on important learning, and the lockdowns and isolation have taken their toll on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
The lack of space to learn and/or access to computer equipment at home also has the potential to widen inequalities and attainment gaps for students from more deprived backgrounds.
The airport has committed to addressing this need by working in partnership with charity partner 15BillionEBP and local schools to pair airport staff with young people in need of dedicated coaching and mentoring support.
Nazmin Begum, Community Engagement Executive at London City Airport, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our local communities and young people have been hit particularly hard. That’s why we are launching our new youth mentoring programme, with volunteers from the airport acting as mentors for students to help them fulfil their potential. The airport has a strong track record of recruiting locally and we hope this new scheme will raise the aspirations of young East Londoners and create pathways to further education and employment."
Rezaul Hussain, Head of Business Development & Partnerships, 15BillionEBP, said: "We’re delighted to be partnering up with London City Airport on this bespoke programme that connects local students with a community focussed employer in LCY. The programme tests the boundaries of a conventional mentoring scheme and is completely tailored to address current issues young people face, from personal and professional development, as well as raising aspirations and preparing young people for the world of work. We are particularly pleased to be able to deliver interventions that also address key areas on self-efficacy and wellbeing."
The mentoring programme will run between June 2021 and July 2022. Volunteers from the airport will commit to delivering eight sessions to fifteen Year 9 students aged 14-15 from the Oasis Academy based in Silvertown.
Initial workshops will focus on goal setting and enabling positive attitudes and social behaviours. Later sessions will consider preparations for the world of work, focusing on wellbeing, personal development as well as employability skills and work experience.
All volunteers will be trained as mentors by the airport’s partner 15BillionEBP prior to starting the programme. 15BillionEBP will also provide DBS checks and a safe and secure online platform for contacting students.
The partnership with the Oasis Academy is the first step and the scheme has the potential to be rolled out to more schools over time to widen the programme’s reach and ability to enable positive change in the local community.
The youth mentoring scheme follows the launch of the London City Helpers programme earlier this year which has seen airport staff volunteer to deliver careers talks, participate in STEM skills workshops and assist with local food bank deliveries.
These activities build on the airport’s strong track record of employing local people and supporting its communities. The airport will shortly announce the groups that have been successful in securing the latest tranche of grants from its £75k Community Fund. Applications closed on Friday 28 May and will be considered by the Board of Trustees before the grants are announced in July.