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HSBC is working with four UK charities to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain the confidence and skills to build a career.

Almost one million young people in the UK are now without a job – leaving one fifth of those aged 16-24 unemployed. Often people from disadvantaged or difficult backgrounds have the greatest barriers to overcoming unemployment. They will sometimes lack confidence as well as the qualifications and life skills to secure and hold down a job.

As part of HSBC’s Young People Programme, the Opportunity Partnership, which starts in 2013, works with UK youth charities to train and educate disadvantaged young people and offer the chance of a long-term career.

We can help disadvantaged young people find fulfilling opportunities through education, training
and work

Antonio Simoes,
Head of the UK Bank and Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Europe

Antonio Simoes, Head of the UK Bank and Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Europe, said: “I am proud to be supporting this new partnership. With the right support, we can help disadvantaged young people find fulfilling opportunities through education, training and work.”

Despite the tough economic climate, some industry sectors including hospitality and social care are recruiting, with 49,000 vacancies in hospitality; and 69,000 in health and social work, according to the Office for National Statistics in June. HSBC is working with four UK charities that have a proven track record in the youth sector – helping them expand their existing employability training programmes. The four charities are Catch22, St Giles Trust, The Prince’s Trust and Tomorrow’s People.

The GBP30 million investment over three years in the Opportunity Partnership will support 25,000 disadvantaged people, aged 16-25, into work, education or training. The programme also offers practical support with issues such as homelessness and mental health problems.

In 2012 HSBC donated USD120 million as part of our global community investment programme, with nearly half of the money spent on education. In the UK, including the Opportunity Partnership, we donate GBP14 million each year to education programmes, helping more than 41,000 young people through charities including LEAP, UK Youth, St Basils, Community Links and Young Enterprise.

Simoes added: “HSBC has a long history of supporting the communities in which we operate. We want to help young people who feel that the job market is out of reach find direction for the future. They can act as a positive influence on their peers and families and contribute to the long-term economic development and prosperity of communities throughout the UK.”

As well as financial support, HSBC will offer those helped by the Opportunity Partnership an interview to join the HSBC Apprenticeship Programme. Launched in 2011, the programme is the first of its kind run by a major bank in the UK. On 21 May 2013, we announced that we would double our number of apprentices to 2,000 with an intake of 700 a year. By the end of July 2013, 1,500 people will have started an Apprenticeship Programme with HSBC since the scheme launched.

The Opportunity Partnership is creating 100 Job Ambassador roles – 30 in the first year – for young people who will reach out to the unemployed in their communities and help them find work with local employers.

HSBC employees will also lend their support through 3,000 skills-based volunteering opportunities in mentoring, coaching and delivering workshops to young people to help them gain confidence and gain an insight into work.

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