Nick Clegg visits Isle of Dogs school to back jobs scheme

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited George Green’s school this morning (Monday) to support a programme aimed at helping disadvantaged young people find work after leaving education.

The school, on the Isle of Dogs, is one of 10 in East London to take part in the pilot Think Forward scheme, under which pupils receive one-to-one coaching, mentoring and work experience before leaving education and entering the world of work.

Since it was introduced 18 months ago, the project has helped more than 300 pupils at risk of dropping out either stay on in education or find employment or training withing six months.

Speaking at the school, Mr Clegg said: “For too many young people, opportunities are out of reach and their chances are hampered for reasons as simple as the street they are growing up on.

“Employers, communities and voluntary organisations all have a part to play in narrowing the gap.”

George Green’s has 70 pupils in years nine and 10 involved in the scheme, with many coming from a background of poverty and unemployment.

Kenny Frederick, the school’s principal, said: “The programme is really motivating these youngsters and encouraging them to stay in school. It is raising their sights as to what they can achieve if they work hard and is keeping them on track to get the qualifications they need to do well.”