Working Assets gets young people planning, delivering and celebrating a project of their own design that develops their skills for work. It is delivered by Foyers across the UK and aims to challenge negative approaches to working with young people who have experienced disadvantage through a positive emphasis on developing personal interests and potential rather than focusing on deficits.
The Working Assets process:
- Engages young people and the local community through an inspirational activity
- Builds skills and resources both for young people and the services supporting them
- Recognises by celebrating achievements of young people and identifying future opportunities
Working Assets projects are diverse;
They are connected to companies. In 2012 The Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders partnered Automotive Companies with Foyers in the Midlands and East London to introduce young people to a manufacturing setting and develop employability skills. Toyota and Activ8 Derby Foyer build an Osprey Nest and passed Maths & English NVQ’s. Ford and East Thames Foyers made a sculpture and a film about their experience. Unipart took young people from Mayday Trust services through their problem solving engineering programme and saved £17,000!
I have learnt more in 4 months, which has only really been every Monday, so…that’s 16 days… than in I did in 3 years of college.
Young Person | Derby Activ8 Foyer
They are community focused. Many Foyer residents have chosen to carry out activities that improve their living environment such as; renovating communal areas; starting up activities and clubs for all to join including football tournaments to gain FA coaching qualifications; using unused rooms and turning them into gyms to improve health and complete personal training courses; talent shows to promote their assets to the neighbourhood; peer-mentoring schemes to support one another; setting up community cafes.
I love being a main member of the project and doing the garden so it ends up being beautiful and attractive. I will have a lot more confidence in myself when looking for a job and in the future.
Young person | from Cheshire
They are enterprising and have shown young people a route to self-employment. They have set up t-shirt and craft enterprises and sold products at markets and community events; charged entry for events and refreshments and made a profit that goes back into the Foyer or to charity. Current projects have seen young people research publishing newsletters that will sell advertising space and become mobile beauticians.
Working Assets taught us how to support young people into self-employment. Tiffany wanted to set-up her own cleaning business. By taking part in the T-shirt making enterprise she gained a better understanding of investment and that she would need to seek or build up capital to buy cleaning materials before she made any money. Tiffany learnt planning skills and why she should keep a record of the cleaning work she has done. She now attends all her appointments due increased confidence.
Foyer staff member | Chichester Foyer
Young people that took part in Connect Yourself were offered a place on Working Assets
Read the Working Assets Evaluation Report 2011 to find out more
Watch what young people learnt when building an Osprey Nest with Toyota Manufacturing UK
The Working Assets project at Chichester Foyer was nominated for “Innovation of the Year“ in the 2012 UK Housing Awards.
Swindon Foyer’s Working Assets film
Neath Foyer Working Assets Film (Clarewood Work And Play Pilot)
By being involved, you can help more young people build their talents for employment.