2nd Chance UK

Main Contact
Nurshia Jey
020 7922 7735
2nd Chance UK


2nd Chance aims to support young people into sustained employment by offering them a second chance

We work to raise the aspirations of those on our programme and equip them with the skills and qualifications that they need to create successful and fulfilling careers for themselves.

We aim to:

  • engage those who do not think formal learning has anything to offer them
  • motivate those who have restricted models of success
  • promote self-reliance in learning for those with negative school experiences
  • develop skills in self-assessment, personal planning, target setting and progress review
  • build resilience and foster the ability to tackle obstacles and set-backs
  • integrate English, maths, IT and employability throughout the programme
  • enable all learners to reach a good GCSE standard or equivalent Level 2 qualification in English and maths offer secure progression routes to work or higher study
  • develop the behaviours that will support employability and successful progression
  • provide step-down support for all young people as they exit the projectwork in partnerships with other organisations delivering services for young people

Our high level of personalised support – with an individual Progression Coach for every learner alongside access to on-site counselling – helps young people to deal with additional barriers to employment. With this sustained support, they are able to learn how to overcome personal challenges and how to make their voices heard.


2nd Chance uses a simple learning model that is driven by stepped improvements in self-management, self-reliance and readiness to work. Over a 12 month period, they are guided towards full-term employment and equipped with the skills that they need to progress in their chosen field.


A curriculum of English and mathematics provides the young people with personal learning support so that they can improve their literacy and numeracy skills and achieve the good GCSE qualifications that so many employers demand.

It is taught as an applied, hands-on course so that the young people learn how to use technology to their advantage and how to apply it in employment situations. The literacy and numeracy that they are taught is firmly rooted in everyday examples, with direct relevance to their working and non-working lives.

After an initial induction and training period, the young people begin work placements. For one day every week, they work for an employer, learning skills and behaviours that they will need for a full-time job when they have completed the programme. For some, this day in employment will increase as their skillset widens.

Enterprise projects, with bonuses and reward schemes, encourage the young people to work in teams, develop their own creativity and explore innovation. They also help to raise aspiration by showing our learners what they can achieve.

Skills training, including learning and thinking skills and employability, complement the academic work and work experience that the young people gain. The training focuses on informal, proactive learning that encourages the learners to work through problems for themselves.

Access to counselling and weekly meetings with their individual Progression Coach allow the young people to explore their personal challenges and to work through them in a safe and supported environment.

Each young person is paid an allowance for travel and a healthy breakfast and lunch are provided on-site. They are also paid a wage for their day in employment.

Southwark Pilot Project

A pilot project of the 2nd Chance model will be running in Southwark from 2013. With the support of local schools and organisations, 50 young people will attend 2nd Chance Southwark for 12 months.

2nd Chance will:

  • run a full-time, financially incentivised scheme for 50 young people in Southwark
  • provide a travel allowance for each young person, in addition to a performance and attendance-based ‘salary’provide a healthy lunchtime and breakfast meal on site four days a week
  • support employers and young people towards mutually beneficial work placements for at least one day every week
  • work with employers and the young people to plan academic and employment pathways throughout the year
  • provide each participant with a Progression Coach
  • provide English and mathematics training to GCSE Grade C or above and/or Level 2 Functional Skills
  • run enterprise, skills and employability projects
  • complement the support of the Progression Coach with access to counselling and further personal support
  • monitor progress carefully and offer supported exit routes during the course
  • provide the basis for expansion and mainstreaming of the 2nd Chance model, drawing upon public money and government policy to make this provision part of the national solution to NEETs
Contextualising Youth Unemployment

With youth unemployment at a 19-year high, and 16-24 unemployment at 22.2% in December 2011, there are almost 1.2 million 16 – 24 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England alone. Nearly one third of young people are NEET at some point between the ages of 16 and 18

In London, 1 in 5 young people are out of work. Accessing and sustaining employment is impossible for some young people who struggled to find a place in school and could not then transition effectively from education to employment. Apprenticeship programmes that demand 5 A*-C GCSEs including mathematics and English seem out of reach for many, compounded by emotional, familial and other personal challenges faced by these young men and women.


Understanding NEETs
Who is at particular risk of becoming NEET?

  • teen parents have a greater than 1:2 chance of being NEET for at least 6 months (71% of teen mothers in one national study)
  • those with low qualifications have a 1:2 chance of being NEET for at least 6 months
  • those excluded from school have a 1:2 chance of being NEET for at least 6 months
  • persistent truants have a 1:3 chance of being NEET for at least 6 months
  • those with contact with police have almost a 1:3 chance of being NEET for at least 6 months
  • those eligible for free school meals at 16 are twice as likely to be NEET with 1:5 NEET for at least 6 months
  • those with statements of special need are twice as likely to be NEET with 1:5 NEET for at least 6 months
  • those with experience of public disturbance, vandalism or shoplifting have almost a 1:5 chance of being NEET for at least 6 months
  • young people leaving care are around twice as likely as their peers to be NEET
  • those with mental health issues
  • those with negative experiences of school, including bullying


What is the immediate personal cost of being NEET?
YouGov research shows NEET young people twice as likely as their peers to:

  • feel down or depressed (52%)
  • often or always rejected (38%)
  • apprehensive about their future (47%, 56% if out of work for more than a year)
  • discontent with friendships (25%
  • pessimistic about family relationships (16%)

What is the personal lifetime cost of being NEET?
Early experience of NEET is correlated with:

  • poor health
  • depression
  • substance dependence
  • erratic lifetime employment
  • lower lifetime income (8-15% wage scar)
  • criminality, especially property crime
  • early death (NE study found 15% long-term NEETs dead within 10 years)


What is the public lifetime cost of being NEET?
Research by the London School of Economics suggested that, in 2007 terms:

  • £97k is the average lifetime cost to the taxpayer of each person NEET
  • £22m per week was the cost of Jobseekers Allowance to support under 24s
  • £10m a day is the cost of lost productivity
  • £23m a week is the cost from the (related) youth crime

In order to help young people move from being NEET to becoming a valuable and valued member of the labour market, we offer them a new mix, where education, employment and emotional support are provided in a complementary, long-term programme.

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