By James Ashall, CEO of Movement to Work
We have had the pleasure of working with Matt Dronfield, Head of Debt Free Advice, at Movement to Work. Over the last few years we’ve had his expertise on the youth sector and youth work helping to guide our strategy and action. So when he moved into a new role to lead Debt Free Advice we’ve been keeping an eye on the work they are doing to see how we can support more young people across the UK together. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do and whilst this might seem like a tangent from our purpose understanding what we need to do to drive the right action comes from a very similar place and one more thing is for certain, if we can support people into meaningful work they are much more likely to be able to break the cycle of debt they are in.
The vision of Debt Free Advice is to make getting out of debt no more complicated than getting into it, over 9 million people are over indebted in the UK with 1.6 million in London which is the focus for Matt and the team. Their recent Working for a Debt Free Advice report noted that the Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney are the areas where Local Authorities are facing the highest level of child poverty, if you look beyond the top three there is a correlation between this, the unemployment ratio and attainment at 19 years old. Once again it is people being in a cycle without the right support which is a waste of talent and potential, breaking these cycles is a must if we are to impact social mobility.
At Movement to Work we are focussed on supporting unemployed young people (18-30 year olds), especially those most in need of support, into meaningful employment through work placements but also direct into employment. For employers across our network who are undertaking this work in London it’s important that we direct our youth outreach, mentoring and work placements into those communities who most need the support. Our hope is that we can work with Debt free Advice as they build their service to provide more pathways to work, lifting young people out of debt and setting them up to fulfil their potential.