We’ve been thinking hard about the implications of Covid-19 on the young people on our programme, particularly those due to leave this summer.

In the light of the challenges this group have faced since March, the stress to the labour market as a result of the economic fall out of the lockdown and the research that’s been done into what groups will be worst hit, we anticipate that many of these young people will need support beyond their expected graduation date of July.

As a result, we’ve decided this year to extend the end of the programme until the October half term. It means our coaches and business partnership managers will be able to work with young people over the summer months as they seek to progress onto their next step.

Our director of programmes Matt Archer said: ‘In a normal year, most of our young people successfully graduate from the programme into work, training or further study, with the small numbers who don’t receiving ongoing job-seeking support, but we’re concerned that in 2020 things could be very different.

‘By extending their time on the programme we can continue to work closely with our young people to provide advice and guidance on job hunting, and ensure they have the resilience and drive needed to secure employment in these testing times.’

We are also be reviewing all the announcements made in the Chancellor’s mini budget to ensure our young people can take advantage of relevant new opportunities aimed at minimising the economic shock of Covid-19 on under-25s.

We’ll be recruiting our next intake of ThinkForward young people before the summer term ends and aim to start working with them after the October holiday.

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