Project information

Coaching from school into work

ThinkForward will coach some of the most disadvantaged young people in London during their transition from school into work. Through a five year programme of one-to-one coaching and employability activities young people will become ready for work and transition into sustained employment at age 18.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: ThinkForward (UK)

ThinkForward (UK) logo
  • Need


    ThinkForward is working to prevent the next generation of youth unemployment. In London we work in Islington and Tower Hamlets to ensure the young people most likely to drop out of school are instead able to enter employment or further education. ThinkForward was founded following research which highlighted a shortage in early intervention, long-term support for young people as they make this transition. In the UK last year 794,000 young people between 16-24 were not in education or employment.


    ThinkForward will provide 300 of the most disengaged young people in London with a dedicated coach.

    Through long-term one-to-one coaching, group work and activities with employers, such as skills workshops and mentoring, young people are empowered to build aspirations and develop key life skills.

    Coaches support young people in and out of school and provide holistic support around any barriers they may have to enable them to progress into further education or employment.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Coaches to form a trusted relationship with each individual young person


    » Young people meet their coaches in one-to-one sessions to plan build career goals and plan how they will be achieved

    What success will look like

    We track young people’s engagement with their coaches as well as the number of one-to-one sessions delivered and action plans created.

    Aim 2

    Deliver a comprehensive programme of activities with employers


    » Young people to participate in business mentoring to learn from an experienced mentor in a one-to-one setting
    » Young people to attend insight days across different industries
    » Young people to attend skills workshops with employers to develop key skills such as writing a CV and interview techniques

    What success will look like

    We expect each young person to make progress on seven work readiness capabilities, tracked on a nine-point scale

    Aim 3

    Develop positive mindsets and broaden the horizons of young people


    » Young people will attend regular group sessions to develop their work readiness capabilities
    » Young people will attend enrichment activities such as theatre or museum trips to broaden their horizons

    What success will look like

    Goals will be tracked by coaches in one to one sessions

  • Impact


    Young people who were otherwise likely to drop out and end up unemployed will transition successfully into further education or sustained employment. They will have achieved basic qualifications and be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in employment.

    We track young people's destinations when they leave the programme at age 18 and remain in contact for 18 months after to ascertain their destination, offering support where necessary.


    There is a risk that young people do not engage in the programme and the number reached is reduced. We have a process to ensure young people are given the best chance to engage and a clear off-rolling criteria. Where young people do not engage after three months they are replaced with another young person. Another risk is that key staff may leave. We provide development reviews through line management and appraisals and have had low staff turnover to-date.


    We send regular newsletters to our supporters and produce an annual review outlining our achievements. Bespoke reporting can be provided on request.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £38,001 School delivery Coaches, their managers, apprentice, cost of activities for young people
      £4,640 Ready for work Education and employment coordinator, cost of activities and travel for young people
      £3,702 Programme performance Team supporting ThinkForward's impact, monitoring performance, case management system
      £5,145 Fundraising and communicatons Fundraising and communications
      £8,512 Operations and governance Leadership, office, audit costs, IT system
  • Background


    ThinkForward coaches work in six London schools across the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Islington, where 15.8% of families are classified as workless. The population for Islington is 233,200 and for Tower Hamlets it is 304,900. In London 40% of pupils at schools where ThinkForward works live in poverty. We hope through intensive support from their coach our young people will avoid involvement in crime and gang culture which is prevalent in these boroughs.


    50 young people from each school in year 9-13 will benefit from the intensive support of a coach. At the start of Year 9 coaches work with the school to identify 10 young people who will most benefit from the programme. We use a data driven approach to select young people, looking at factors such as poor attainment, and behaviour and low attendance as well as socioeconomic indicators such as free school meals and being in care.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    ThinkForward has a strong track record; 80% of past graduates have successfully entered employment or further education upon graduating our programme. 74% made improvements in behaviour and attendance. Our long-term commitment also sets us apart; “It’s a great project that really helps kids to do better. They don’t give up on young people like some other projects that have worked with my other kids in the past for a few months, then just disappeared”, Parent of a ThinkForward young person.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Matt Archer

    ThinkForward’s Head of Delivery. Matt ensures we are delivering a high-quality, consistent and impactful programme to our young people.

    Shelly Khaled

    Regional Delivery Manager in London. Shelly joined ThinkForward first as a coach before becoming a delivery manager in 2013. He is a Level 5 coach.

    ThinkForward Coaches

    Coaches have a Level 3 coaching qualification, at least five years of work experience in teaching, social work or youth offending services.


will provide a young person with a month of intensive coaching and employability support

“I was on my way to getting kicked out of school. My coach has helped me understand myself and that there are so many opportunities out there. He has had an amazing impact on my life.”

Sanim, Year 11