Our programmes aim to empower disadvantaged young people with the skills they need to achieve financial independence, security for themselves and their families and the ability to contribute positively to the economy.
They fall into three categories:
- Financial skills help young people manage their money more effectively to avoid unmanageable debt and have the confidence to plan for the future
- Enterprise skills help young people set up their own business to provide for themselves, and support the growth of the wider economy
- Life skills such as literacy, numeracy, communications and teamworking skills enable young people to improve their prospects for employment and play a full role in society.
We have a number of programmes designed to strengthen financial capability. Some 745,000 people were reached through this work in 2011. Some of our programmes help disadvantaged people to manage their money more effectively, while others aim to increase financial inclusion. As a result, over 255,000 people were able to access a new or increased range of financial services.
The Banking on Change partnership with CARE International UK and Plan UK was launched in 2009 with an investment of £10m. It promotes access to basic financial services for people in Africa, Asia and South America. In 2011 it was recognised by the UN Business Call to Action network for its contribution to the global Millennium Development Goals.
The partnership helps beneficiaries develop their financial skills within their communities by forming savings-led community finance groups. These are called Village Savings and Loans Associations, and allow their members to save collectively and access small and affordable loans. As a result they are able to manage their money better, for themselves as well as for their businesses. By the end of 2011, over 320,000 people had already joined more than 16,200 groups and collectively saved US$5.3m (£3.4m). We aim to reach around 400,000 people by the end of 2012.
As the community finance groups mature, some gain access to more formal financial services such as basic bank accounts. Barclays has developed a number of bespoke financial products such as savings accounts and overdrafts, which support the specific needs of these new customers.
Barclays Money Skills is an industry-leading initiative designed to help vulnerable people in the UK to build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence. We’re investing over £15m in the programme, which has benefited 725,940 people already, and we will have reached a million young people by the end of 2012.
The programme is delivered through partnerships with leading charities including Action for Children, the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and the National Youth Agency. Barclays colleagues are also supporting the programme, and more than 11,400 have volunteered to deliver sessions in their local communities since the programme began.
In the current financial climate, young people across the world are facing increasingly high levels of unemployment. By helping them to get the skills they need to set up their own businesses, we help give them an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
Last year over 43,000 people received employability skills training through one of our programmes, and we facilitated over 4,300 work experience placements. As a result, 3,800 people succeeded in finding a job.
Barclays £5m partnership with UNICEF, Building Young Futures, was launched in 2008, operating in the UK and 12 other countries across Africa, Asia and South America. To date, the programme has helped nearly 600,000 young people from some of the world’s poorest communities access better education and employment opportunities, and gain the qualifications and skills needed to set up and run a small business.
You Can B, a partnership with Junior Achievement Worldwide, has supported young people across 10 countries in Africa to develop their enterprise and employability skills, through activities such as job shadowing, mentoring and workshops. Launched in 2009, the partnership benefited more than 10,000 young people by the end of 2011.
Barclays partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) helps young people start their own business and create employment. YBI works with 18–35 year olds to provide access to capital, training, mentoring and other business development services. Our support will enable YBI to provide services that will benefit 50,000 under-served young entrepreneurs in 34 countries. In 2011, our support helped YBI entrepreneurs start over 7,000 new businesses around the world.
Many young people are now leaving the education system without the necessary skills to play a full role in society. This also creates issues for potential employers, who are unable to access a pool of adequately-skilled employees. Many of our programmes are designed to help address this problem.
Barclays Spaces for Sports is a £37m global programme that uses the power of sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities and tackle key social issues. It helps people develop vital life skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication, while achieving coaching qualifications that will enhance their employment prospects.
In 2011, we started new programmes in partnership with sport-for-development NGOs in India, Zimbabwe, China and South Africa to help disadvantaged people improve their employability and life skills. We also launched a sustainability strategy for our 200 Barclays Spaces for Sports sites in the UK, in partnership with the Football Foundation, to provide an opportunity to apply for additional funding to secure long-term sustainability of the sites.
Barclays has partnered with Room to Read since 2008 and has committed £1m to the programme during 2011 and 2012 through the Clinton Global Initiative. This will fund the establishment of 210 school libraries in Nepal, Sri Lanka and India and help children gain access to culturally relevant books by printing 27 new books in local languages, as well as supporting over 1,000 girls through the Girls’ Education Programme. As a result of Room to Read’s work, nearly one million girls and one million boys will have access to enhanced educational resources. Our contribution supports literacy for those among the 796 million people who can’t read, over two-thirds of whom are girls and women.
In 2011, we launched Cycle into Work, a partnership with the social enterprise Bikeworks, to help disadvantaged young Londoners learn key skills and find jobs. The programme works with shelters and hostels for young homeless people, offering them bicycle building and maintenance courses. Once they’ve completed the course, the students can keep the bikes they built, giving them access to affordable transport. Over the course of a year our support will help the initiative to reach 150 young people.
Barclays Armed Forces Community Investment Project helps people leaving the military to develop the skills they need to gain employment and make a successful transition to civilian life. The project is run in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence and The Soldiers’ Charity. In the US, our senior executives have worked with American Corporate Partners as mentors for veterans. In 2011, 50 of our suppliers attended the Barclays Armed Forces Day in the UK, 11 of which subsequently signed up to support the programme, offering opportunities including short-term work placements, 6–12 month secondments and full-time employment.
Barclaycard funds Music Potential, in collaboration with ‘Choice FM’ charity I Have a Choice. This programme is designed for disadvantaged 16–25 year olds who aren’t in education or training. It introduces them to career opportunities in the music and radio industries. Launched during 2011, around 600 young people have already taken part in the programme.