We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of ReDesign, a 3-year social action programme that brings together young people from Islington aged 17-24 to shape and re-think different areas that affect their lives.
More jobs are created in Islington every year than there are people. Yet the number of young people not in employment, education or training remains high. Where’s the disconnect?
In year 1, ReDesign is tackling the challenge of creating meaningful paid work experience opportunities that are accessible, relevant and enjoyable for all young people in Islington. This means addressing multiple barriers that young people have identified, which can prevent them from getting into good placements, such as:
- Not having access to the right information
- Caring responsibilities for family members and/or children
- Not having finished school
- Not having the money to travel far distances or afford smart clothes to attend interviews
- Lacking family support structures and/or stressful home environments
- Being in insecure housing
- Having a criminal record
- Having a visible and/or invisible disability
- Struggling with poor mental health
- Having undocumented status
- Lacking relatable role models and the confidence to apply for opportunities
- Being out of their comfort zone in a new physical location and environment
Working with All Change artist Kenny Baraka and sector specialists from Islington Council and local organisations, five employers from Impact Hub and six young people from Islington will interrogate these challenges and co-create a prototype paid work experience programme that will be piloted at Impact Hub Islington later this year. They will question existing models and ask what both young people (especially young people who face different forms of disadvantage) and employers (especially small businesses) need to run a successful paid work experience programme. In the process, ReDesign will offer 10 paid work experience opportunities for young people in Islington in year 1 and gather feedback and ideas from over 100 young people in the borough as well as 30 local employers.
Here’s a picture of Kenny with the six Young Creatives involved in ReDesign:
Impact Hub employers participating the co-design process include: Web Architecture and Technologies, Room for Tea, 64 Million Artists and Octophin Digital. Participating in a paid work experience with Impact Hub employers this summer will create a unique opportunity for young people to get an insight into various types of purpose-driven businesses and support each other along the way by working from the same shared workspace.
ReDesign is part of a wider Islington Council-led initiative called Ambitious Communities, which also involves social action projects by Global Generation and Clear Village. We are running ReDesign in collaboration with All Change, our partner in our new home 27 Dingley Place. Our vision for 27 Dingley Place is for it to be a place where opportunities aren’t just available on paper but accessible to everyone; a place that connects higher productivity with higher purpose; supports people’s well-being throughout different life stages and nurtures good human relationships; a place that appreciates multiple realities and celebrates different forms of knowledge. ReDesign is a first step into this vision by creating pathways into good employment designed with and for local people.
We will share our insights, successes and failures here as we go along and invite you to join the conversation if you feel passionate about similar questions – just drop Julia a line, who will be thrilled to hear from you.