BY TOBY PORTER email@example.com
Award-winning rapper Nadia Rose has hailed a life-changing programme which helps young women find their voice and find a job.
She praised Street Elite for giving talented, marginalised young women a chance as the latest class graduated at a sports festival.
The MOBO winner congratulated them at three sports festivals taking place in Lambeth, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
She said: “The Street Elite festival was brilliant. To see so many young people engaged in so many different sports was really inspiring.
I wish I’d known about this when I was in school. “It’s great to know that young women are inspired by me and can find confidence and be themselves.
“The programme itself is incredible. I know a lot of people who are struggling to find work in London at the moment and as a woman I know it’s especially difficult.
“There are a lot of male-dominated roles out there and there are extra social struggles for women before they can even look for work so support like this is very important.”
Now in its seventh year, Street Elite uses sport and mentoring to help young adults in the employment market.
This year’s programme has had a strong focus on supporting young women because in London 9.5 per cent of females aged 16-24 do not have a job, training or college place.
Research by the University of Bath and the Young Women’s Trust shows there are significantly more young women who are not in education, employment or training in the UK than men – 432,000 to 376,000.
Two-thirds of these women are economically inactive, mostly due to caring duties, family expectations or illness.
Street Elite involves nine months of intensive coaching and mentoring for young people aged 18-25.
The programme supports those often living on the edge of gangs and criminality, helping them to gain the confidence, qualifications and self-esteem needed to get a job or go on to further and higher education.
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, deputy leader of Lambeth council, said: “Street Elite is a fantastic initiative, tackling a real issue and delivering positive results.
“Young women face so many challenges in getting into work or training and we need to help those most vulnerable, give them the confidence and the skills to find a career path and excel. I’m delighted to support this event, and it’s great to see so many positive stories.”
This summer’s Street Elite festivals follow the launch in April of a guide produced by a coalition of leading businesses aimed at helping major employers bring talented, marginalised young people into full-time work.
The guide draws on the experience of companies such as M&S, BAE Systems, and the Berkeley Group, as well as the Movement to Work, a collaboration of leading UK employers providing work placements for young people struggling to get their first step on the career ladder.